Liver Transplant Frequently Asked Questions
Facts About Liver Transplantation
What are the UW Health success rates for liver transplant?
Our highly experienced team has performed more than 2,300 liver transplants since the program began in 1984. This experience allows us to do more extended criteria transplants, and save more lives. In 2016, we performed 105 liver transplants, more than three times as many as other Wisconsin programs. Read about our survival rates.
What are the wait times for liver transplant at UW Health?
Our median time to transplant is 10.6 months, shorter than both the regional and national averages. Patients already on a wait list can double list with our center to greatly increase their chance of transplant. The severity of your disease will determine your average waiting time.
Who is a candidate for liver transplantation?
Individuals who suffer from end-stage liver disease from varying causes may be considered for liver transplantation. If it is decided that you need a liver transplant, your eligibility will be determined by your medical and social evaluation. Read more about the liver transplant process.
Is there an age limit for liver transplantation?
The age limit is individualized as it varies with a patient's overall health condition. However, it is rare to offer liver transplant to someone greater than 70 years old.
When will I be listed for liver transplant, if it is decided that I would benefit from one?
Listing for liver transplant will take place after thorough testing is done, results retrieved and evaluated, and it is determined that the benefits outweigh the risks. Your insurance company is then contacted for eligibility of payment. After this is secured, you will be listed.
If I am interested in your program, what is my first step and what can I expect?
Your local doctor can call our office at (608) 263-9531 to set up an appointment. The day of your appointment, you will meet with a liver transplant specialist, liver transplant surgeon, social worker, clinical and financial coordinators. The average evaluation takes five to six hours. When going through the transplant process, a Clinical Transplant Coordinator is assigned to you who will assist you throughout the entire process.
Do you do living liver donor transplants?
Yes. We are Wisconsin’s only center actively transplanting adult living liver patients. We’re a certified adult and pediatric living liver-donor center with three experienced living liver donation and transplant surgeons. Our one-year living liver patient survival is 100 percent. Read more about living donation here Living Liver Donor Transplant. Eligibility for this program will be discussed at the time of the recipient's evaluation.
Do you have a pediatric liver transplant program?
Yes. . Children are transplanted at American Family Children’s Hospital in Madison, WI.
Will my insurance cover the cost of my liver transplant? How much?
UW Health is a Center of Excellence for most insurance networks and has contracts with many insurance providers, Medicare and Wisconsin Medicaid. You need to contact your insurance company to find out your coverage for the costs of your transplant surgery. After contacting your insurance company, if you still have questions, you may call (608) 263-1503 and ask for one of our transplant financial counselors who can assist you.