Liver transplant in children

In the Transplant Center, a team of doctors trained in liver conditions (hepatologists), infectious diseases and mental health conditions (psychiatrists) work together to evaluate and treat children who may need liver transplants at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. Children who are hospitalized stay in Mayo Eugenio Litta Children's Hospital at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.

The transplant team evaluates your child to determine if a liver transplant is the most appropriate treatment for your child's liver condition. If the team determines your child is eligible for a liver transplant, he or she will be placed on a waiting list for a deceased-donor liver.

In liver transplant for children, surgeons may use an entire deceased-donor liver or a portion of a deceased-donor liver.

Your child may also have a living-donor liver transplant if a living donor is available. In a living-donor liver transplant, your child's liver is replaced with a portion of an adult living-donor's liver, which then grows to be the size needed by the child.

The liver transplant process involves many steps before, during and after your child's liver transplant. After your child's transplant surgery, your child usually will stay in the hospital for one to three weeks. Your child's transplant team will monitor his or her recovery.

After your child has left the hospital, you and your child will need to stay near the hospital for about two to four weeks so that doctors can monitor your child's recovery. Your child will have regular follow-up appointments to check for signs of rejection. After your child's transplant, a liver transplant coordinator will provide your child with continuing care. The transplant coordinator will be available to answer your questions and communicate with you and your child's treatment team.