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.

We see children from across Virginia and throughout the country for particularly complex cases. We’ve been performing pediatric liver transplants since 1989. 

Our Partnership with Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC

At UVA, we've performed more than 60 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 the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS). Survival rates at both institutions exceed national averages.

children's hospital of pittsburgh of upmc logo

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 the state of Virginia. 

Read how children can receive liver transplants closer to home.

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

UVA 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.


Pediatric Liver Transplant: Compassionate Care for Children

UVA’s pediatric transplant specialists offer compassionate, individualized care for children before, during and after a transplant. We’re the only hospital in the region to perform pediatric organ transplants from newborns to young adults. View Transcript.

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 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

There’s a waiting list for livers, but children generally have priority over adults on the waiting list.