Liver transplant

The liver is the second largest organ in your body, and is one of the most important organs, as it performs many critical functions including processing the food you eat and drink into energy, and nutrients your body can use.  Located under the rib cage on the right side of the body, the liver also removes harmful substances from your blood, prevents infection, and stores vital nutrients until the body needs them. 

A diseased or sick liver can be replaced with a donated, healthy liver through a liver transplant. In 2016, nearly 8,000 liver transplants were performed in the United States. During the procedure, the entire liver and gallbladder (if present) are removed and replaced with the new liver (no gallbladder is transplanted). The procedure usually takes between four to six hours, but can take longer at times. Most patients stay in the hospital for one to two weeks after surgery.

The survival after liver transplant is monitored closely by the transplant network and the results are available to the public at www.srtr.org. These results are updated every six months. Geisinger’s most recent survival statistics can be found here.

Liver transplants can help patients with liver failure restore their overall health and regain their quality of life. Our team of liver transplant specialists is dedicated to providing an exceptional level of care to ensure the best possible outcome.

What you should know about liver transplant

  • A liver transplant is needed when a person’s liver is failing and a doctor recommends he or she be evaluated for a transplant.
  • Many diseases can cause damage to the liver, and when the disease progresses to severe liver scarring, known as cirrhosis, a liver transplant may be needed. Common diseases that may lead to the need for a liver transplants include:
    • Hepatitis C
    • Hepatitis B
    • Hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer)
    • Fatty liver disease
    • Bile duct diseases
    • Genetic diseases
    • Autoimmune liver diseases
    • Primary liver cancer
    • Alcoholic liver disease   
    • Acute liver injury from drugs or viruses

Why choose Geisinger for your liver transplant?

  • The Geisinger liver transplant program has been in existence since 2006 and has recently recruited several new physicians to expand our ability to provide cutting-edge clinical care for patients with liver disease, both before and after transplantation.
  • Geisinger is one of the nation's most-respected hospitals, with a large network of affiliated hospitals that allow us to provide services to patients throughout central and northeastern Pennsylvania, and the south-central New York region.
  • Our liver transplant program survival statistics boasts better than expected outcomes compared to national averages.
  • Our most recent survival statistics surpass national expectations, with 94 percent of liver donor recipients functioning one year after receiving a transplant.
  • Our skilled multidisciplinary team strives to rapidly evaluate patients, provide care for them prior to transplant, if needed, and then optimize survival after liver transplantation.

Specialties and institutes

Connect with other specialties at Geisinger to learn more about these treatments.

We're here to help