Pediatric Liver Transplant

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Our team approach ensures your child receives the best therapy during this intricate process. We'll make sure you and your child are fully prepared throughout the transplant experience.

At UVA Health Children's, we see children from across Virginia and throughout the country for particularly complex cases.  We’ve been performing pediatric liver transplants since 1989. We're the only United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS)–approved pediatric liver transplant program in Virginia. And we have the only board-certified pediatric liver transplant hepatologist in the state. Our pediatric liver transplant program has some of the best patient outcomes in the U.S.

Living Liver Donation Saved Josie

When Christina Miller heard about baby Josie's biliary atresia and need for a liver transplant, the call went straight to her heart. Christina's living organ donation resulted in an immediate improvement in Josie's condition. See how living organ donation helped Josie and find out how you can become a donor. See Josie's video transcript

Living Donations Save Lives

Who Needs a Liver Transplant?

There are many conditions that could cause your child to need a liver transplant.

Illnesses and diseases that could lead to the need for transplant include:

  • Biliary atresia
  • Inborn errors of metabolism such as maple syrup urine disease
  • Wilson’s disease
  • Acute liver failure
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Alpha 1 antitrypsin deficiency
  • Cystic fibrosis

Your Child's Liver Transplant

Your Child's Liver Transplant Care Team

Children in stable condition are often first seen in the Pediatric Gastroenterology clinic.

Those who need a liver transplant will have a team including:

  • Hepatologists
  • Nephrologists (kidney care)
  • Pediatric surgeons
  • Diagnostic and interventional radiologists
  • Nutritionists
  • Genetic counselors
  • Speech therapists
  • Cardiologists
  • Endocrinologists
  • Social workers
  • Neuropsychologists

Although many specialists, nurses and other caregivers will see your child along the way, the same doctors will oversee your child’s transplant care before and after surgery.

Multiple Options for Liver Transplants

Our specialists also perform different kinds of liver transplants, including:

  • Whole organ
  • Transplants from deceased donors
  • Split (part of an adult liver is given to infants and children)
  • Living donor
  • Domino transplants

There’s a waiting list for livers, but children generally have priority over adults on the waiting list.
If you're interested in becoming a living liver donor, please fill out this living donor form

 Our Partnership with Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC

At UVA Health Children's, we've performed about 100 pediatric liver transplants since our program began. The Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC has performed over 1,200 pediatric liver transplants, more than any other center in the U.S., according to UNOS. Both institutions have some of the best survival rates after transplant.

We're partnering with Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC to provide your child with the best care possible and the highest chance at a successful transplant. Together, we aim to increase access to care for transplant patients throughout Virginia. 

Read how children can receive liver transplants closer to home.

How UVA Health Children's & Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC Work Together

UVA Health Children's and Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC develop a care plan for your child and work with your family and referring provider. Then, transplant surgeons from both hospitals work together to perform the transplants.

After surgery, both teams will continue to collaborate as we monitor your child’s health and consult with your referring provider to ensure the transplant’s continued success.

Learn more about the first pediatric liver transplant since our partnership.

A Partnership to Deliver the Highest-Quality Care

By partnering with Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, we're bringing together the most experienced pediatric liver transplant providers onto one team — to ensure the highest quality care for your child. View transplant partnership transcript.