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Liver Transplant Surgery

Liver Transplant Surgery at The Liver Institute at Methodist Dallas

When a liver becomes available, your name will be reviewed along with the others in the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) computerized transplant waiting list. If your illness places you in the highest priority, you will be chosen as the recipient and contacted by the transplant coordinator at The Liver Institute at Methodist Dallas.

Dr. Alejandro Mejia and Dr. Stephen S. Cheng, independently practicing physicians at The Liver Institute at Methodist Dallas Medical Center

Before Liver Transplant Surgery

​​​Once at the hospital, you will be prepared for surgery. It is both an exciting and frightening time, so it is important to have someone with you for support. When everything is organized, you will be scheduled for liver transplant surgery.

Pictured: (Left to right) Dr. Alejandro Mejia and Dr. Stephen Cheng

Liver Transplant Surgery

Liver transplant surgery is performed under general anesthesia and usually takes between five and seven hours.

  • After liver transplant surgery you will be moved to the surgical intensive care unit.
  • When you are awake and able to breathe normally on your own, the breathing tube inserted for surgery will be taken out.
  • All other tubes that were inserted for other medical reasons will be removed gradually over the next several days. All tubes are usually gone by the time you go home.
  • The function of the transplanted liver will be monitored very closely in the first 24 hours.
  • If everything is working well, you may be moved to the transplant unit after 24 to 48 hours.
  • Right away, you'll start taking medicine that dampers your immune system, so it's less likely to damage the donated organ.
  • You will be watched closely for any side effects from these medicines.
  • In some cases you may need to return to surgery or undergo liver biopsies.