for Veterans and the Public
Your provider has determined that your liver disease is severe enough that a referral for consideration of liver transplantation is appropriate.
Your transplant guide is designed to be a reference and to help answer some of the questions about the evaluation, transplantation, and post-transplant period. You may want to bring this with you to your clinic visits during the work-up for transplant and during follow-up, while you wait for your transplant evaluation. Your providers may want to use this to teach you about your care. Remember, you are the most important part of the transplant team.
For those who are accepted for continued evaluation at the transplant center, some of this same information will be given to you at that visit. The goal of this booklet is to help you understand the process (it is complicated!) before you arrive at the transplant center for the final stages of the evaluation. We hope it will provide you and your support person(s) with an overview of the entire process from evaluation to the surgery and aftercare and alert you to some of the issues unique to transplantation that may arise. We also hope it will help you make sure that the possibility of a transplant is the right decision for you (and your family/ support person).
There are a great many acknowledgements that need to be made with regard to this book -- most importantly, however, it was reviewed and edited by a number of patients (from the Seattle Liver Transplant Support Group) whose suggestions were invaluable. It is a book written for you by knowledgeable providers and others who have actually gone through the process. The result is a book that they felt would have better prepared them for what lay ahead. We hope you, too, find it a valuable resource. While some of the language in this book may seem "too technical", most of us (including the post-transplant individuals who reviewed this) felt that the language was necessary since transplantation is a big responsibility requiring knowledge of specific terms and concepts. "Better to start now," they all said, so here it is.