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Making an Informed Decision

Making an informed decision about liver transplant

Our liver transplant team is a comprehensive group of professionals working together to thoroughly educate every candidate about transplantation. We will teach you about the pre-transplant phase, the surgery and recovery phase, and the routine follow-up care and medications required after transplantation.

It is important that you and your family completely understand the benefits, risks, and limitations of transplantation in order to make an informed decision concerning this procedure. Transplantation requires that you make a strong commitment to adhere to a strict medication schedule and follow-up routine, before and after the transplant. It also requires that your family support you in this effort.

An Option, Not a Cure

Once your doctor has determined that you have an organ that is severely diseased, you will be given treatment options. One of these options is organ transplantation, but it is not for everyone. A transplant means a lifetime commitment to medications, doctor visits, and a healthy lifestyle. Transplantation is a treatment option, not a cure.

Handling Your Other Health Problems

Diseases and conditions such as pancreatitis, lupus, and stomach ulcers must be treated and controlled before you undergo a transplant. You must also be free of any infections.

Know the Risks

There are risks with any surgery, but transplant surgery is a particularly high-risk proposition. The medicines used after transplant are powerful and can have serious side effects. In addition to possible side effects, there is an associated risk of infection. And there is always the chance that your body may reject the transplanted organ. Organ transplants are not guaranteed. Not all organs will work perfectly, and in rare cases, some transplanted organs do not work at all. Your transplant physician can give you the most up-to-date statistics for all types of transplants.

Following Orders and Making Lifestyle Changes

It is important that you follow the medical orders prescribed by your doctor. The better care you take of yourself, the better the transplanted organ should work. A transplant can offer you a better quality of life, and often a longer life, but you must always think of yourself as having "special health care needs." You will have to make lifestyle changes that include diet, exercise, and refraining from smoking and drinking alcohol.

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