Becauseof the lack of available livers, it's rarely possible to have a liver transplant as soon as it's needed, so you'llusually be placed on a waiting list.
Depending on the clinical need for a liver transplant, you will be placed either on a high-priority or medium-priority waiting list.Many people are well enough to stay at home until a liver becomes available.
While waiting for a donated liver to become available, it's important to stay as healthy as possible by:
The transplant centre will need to be able to contact you at short notice, so you should inform staff if your contact details change. You should alsoletstaffknowif your health changes for example, if you develop an infection.
Prepare an overnight bag and make arrangements with your friends, family and your employer, so that you can go to the transplant centre as soon as a donor liver becomes available.
The average waiting time for a liver transplant is 145 days for adults and72 days for children.
However, your waiting time may be a lot shorter if you are on a high-priority waiting list.In some circumstances, you may be able to shorten your waiting time if a relative, or possibly a friend, has the same Blood groups as you and is willing to take part in a living donor liver transplant.
If your child needs a liver transplant, you may also wish to discuss the possibility of becoming a living donor with staff at the transplant centre.
Read about how liver transplantations are performed for more informationon living donations.
Living with a serious liver condition can bestrenuous enough, and the added anxiety of waiting for a liver to become availablecan make the situation even more difficult. This can have an effect on both your physical and mental health.
Contact your GP or the transplant centrefor advice if you're struggling to cope emotionally with the demands of waiting for a liver transplant.
You may also find it useful to talk to people in the same situation. The British Liver Trust website has a directory of support groups . You can also become a member of the HealthUnlocked liver disease community .
When a donor liver does become available, you willusually be referred to the transplant centre closest to where you live.
In England, there are six NHS hospitals with specialist adultliver transplant centres. These hospitals are in:
There are also threechildren's specialist liver hospitals:
A liver transplant is an operation to remove a diseased or damaged liver and replace it with a healthy one.
There is a strict assessment process that is used to decide who can have a liver transplant, as donated livers are scarce both in the UK and around the world.
Due to the lack of available livers, it's rarely possible to have a liver transplant as soon as it's needed, so you'll usually be placed on a waiting list.
You will be contacted by staff at the liver transplant centre as soon as a suitable liver becomes available.
Recovering from a liver transplant can be a long, slow process, but most people will eventually be able to return to most of their normal activities and have a good quality of life.
Complications of a liver transplant can include rejection, an increased risk of infection, graft failure, biliary conditions and a higher risk of developing certain conditions.
Shohanna Newman-Kidd likes dancing, running and painting rainbows, but she's had to fight hard to enjoy doing what other children take for granted.
When Gordon Bridewell was rushed from the West Country to London on New Year's Eve 1975 to undergo a pioneering liver transplant, he was also travelling into the record books.