Liver Transplantation for children with liver tumors

Liver transplantation is required for children who have large liver tumors that cannot be surgically removed without causing liver failure. Liver transplants can be required for either benign or malignant tumors. The most common tumors that require liver transplantation are hepatoblastoma and hepatocellular carcinoma. However, transplants have been done for patients with sarcomas, adenomas, and hemangiomas.

The Liver Transplant Program at Texas Children’s Hospital is the largest pediatric program in the South and among the largest in the United States. The programs commitment to excellence is proven by our outcomes— the pediatric liver transplant survival rate of patients treated at Texas Children's Hospital is well above the national averages. In 2008, Texas Children’s Hospital performed 26 liver transplants.

Texas Children’s surgeons are experienced in a wide range of surgical procedures, including liver resections, bile duct resections, and innovative liver transplantation techniques, including: living donor and in-situ split liver transplants.

  • Split-liver transplants are procedures which the surgeon divides or splits the cadaveric liver while it is still in the donors body. This method allows the liver to be used for transplantation in 2 patients. Houston’s first in-situ split-liver transplant was performed in 1999 by Dr. John Goss.
  • Living related donor transplantation is a technique in which a portion of an adult relative’s liver is removed and given to a child recipient. This type of transplantation virtually eliminates delays for a transplant because the child does not have to wait for a cadaveric liver transplant.