Life After Liver Transplantation
The majority of our liver transplant patients recover within days of the surgery and the average length of stay in the hospital is 14 days. Infants and previously hospitalized children and adolescents often require longer hospitalization.
Your child's first follow-up Transplant Clinic visit will be the first Monday or Wednesday morning after they are discharged from the hospital. After the first visit, your child will continue to have weekly clinic and lab appointments for the first month following transplant. During these appointments our transplant coordinator, hepatologist and/or nurse practitioner will evaluate your child.
Following the first month, your child's appointments will be spaced out to once a month for the first year and eventually to once a year. Other transplant team members may visit with you during these appointments as necessary. Regardless of where you reside, you will be required to return to Texas Children’s Transplant Center on a yearly basis for follow-up until your child transitions to adult care.
Once discharged from the hospital, lab work will be required frequently the first month following transplant. The schedule of lab draws will be based on previous results, as well as any symptoms that your child may exhibit. The transplant coordinator will review your child's lab results with the physician and call you with results.
Medication levels are often checked with lab draws. As a result, your child must have labs drawn at a specified time. It is important for the liver team to monitor these results carefully to provide the best possible medical care to your child. Problems with the liver are easier to correct when they are detected early.
Additionally, you will be asked to get labs in between follow-up appointments. This is a generalized follow-up plan and it will be individualized for your child. If you live out of town, you will be asked to get labs near your home and will be instructed to see your local gastroenterologist and your pediatrician for regular follow-up appointments.