If your liver disease reaches an advanced stage due to cirrhosis, primary liver cancer or late-stage liver disease, a liver transplant may be your only hope for survival.
To be added to the liver transplant waiting list at California Pacific Medical Center, you will need to undergo a two- to three-day transplant evaluation in San Francisco. In most cases, our team can complete the complex process of liver transplant evaluation within one month of your consultation.
During your evaluation for liver transplant, you will meet with a transplant surgeon, nurse coordinator, psychiatrist, social worker, nutritionist, financial coordinator and other consultants, as appropriate. Your evaluation will include blood tests, imaging studies, cardiac exams and pulmonary function tests to help doctors decide whether liver transplantation is necessary, feasible and the best choice of treatment.
Other evaluations that will be considered by our Liver Transplant Selection Committee include:
- Psychosocial Evaluation — Your mental health and social circumstances are as important as your physical health to the success of your operation. A specialized transplant social worker will meet with you to assess how well you handle stress and determine the extent of your support system.
- Nutritional Evaluation — Healthy diet and regular exercise are important for maintaining a successful transplant. A nutritionist will help you design an eating plan to maintain appropriate nutrition and weight.
- Financial Evaluation — A transplant financial coordinator will review your insurance coverage, including benefits, deductibles and copayments, including prescription coverage, which is a critical part of post-transplant care.
When the tests and individual evaluations are completed, our Liver Transplant Selection Committee reviews your medical history and circumstances. This committee is made up of doctors, transplant coordinators, financial coordinators, nutritionists and social workers. Some patients may be added immediately to the transplant waiting list. Others may be too ill to survive a transplant and declined.
You may be declined because you need to complete specific recommendations from the committee, such as attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, ceasing to smoke, losing weight or increasing your social support system. You will be reconsidered when you satisfy the committee’s recommendations.
It also is possible that you will be considered too healthy for a transplant; in this case, our team will closely monitor your liver disease and re-evaluate you for transplantation if your disease progresses.