How long do I have to wait for a liver transplant?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

If you need a transplant, your name will be placed on a national waiting list kept at the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS). Your blood type, body size, and how sick you are, play a role in when you will receive a liver. Currently, the sickest people are at the top of the list, so you may have to wait a long time.

While you wait for a new liver, you and your doctor should talk about what you can do to stay strong for the surgery. You will also need to start learning about taking care of a new liver.

This answer is based on source information from The National Digestive Disease Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC).

The period of waiting for liver transplantation varies depending on factors including the type of transplant to be performed, severity of illness, and others. During this challenging period, it is important for patients to maintain their physical and emotional health as well as possible, to maintain close contact with the Center, and to be prepared to travel to the hospital at a moment's notice when a donor organ becomes available.

Most of the time people end up waiting months for a liver transplant. It varies a little bit from your region and on your blood group, but you may end up waiting for months for an offer for a liver.

There is a long waiting list for livers for transplant in the U.S. There is a big shortage of livers in the country, and doctors are constantly trying to raise awareness to people and their family members to be organ donors. It is estimated about one-third of the people on the liver transplant list actually die every year waiting for an organ.

Trinity Health is a Catholic health care organization that acts in accordance with the Catholic tradition and does not condone or support all practices covered in this site. In case of emergency call 911. This site is educational and not a substitute for professional medical advice, always seek the advice of a qualified health care provider.

Continue Learning about Digestive Health

The Common Gut Condition That Could Cost You Your Colon
The Common Gut Condition That Could Cost You Your Colon
Feeling pain or a strange discomfort in your abdomen? Don’t worry; you're not alone. Every year, thousands of people are admitted to hospitals for abd...
Read More
What is a polyp?
Riverside Community HospitalRiverside Community Hospital
A polyp is a growth in the colon. Polyps can form and can develop into cancer.
More Answers
When Bloating May Be Something Serious
When Bloating May Be Something SeriousWhen Bloating May Be Something SeriousWhen Bloating May Be Something SeriousWhen Bloating May Be Something Serious
Seven serious conditions that cause bloating.
Start Slideshow
What Are Digestive Enzymes?
What Are Digestive Enzymes?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.