What makes someone a good candidate for a liver transplant?

For a person to be a good candidate for a liver transplant, the liver transplant team considers the following:

  • Liver transplant is not a minor procedure. Doctors look at the person's heart and lungs, and make sure that the person can withstand the surgery.
  • What is the indication for transplant? Most programs around the country require a period of abstinence from alcohol.
  • Does the person have insurance coverage, or the ability to pay for the medications post-transplant?
  • Social support is important. Someone must be there to drive the person to appointments after transplant.
  • Does the person have a stable living situation at home?

Ultimately, a liver transplant is a team decision where the surgeons, the doctors, the case workers, the social workers, and the coordinators sit and talk and get input from various providers and specialists and then decide whether this person is an appropriate candidate for transplant.
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.

A good candidate for a liver transplant needs to be in good heart and lung health. Watch this video featuring liver transplant surgeon Dr. Robert Brown to learn why the post-surgery regimen requires a compliant-minded patient.

A liver transplant may be suitable for someone:
  • who has finished their liver transplant evaluation
  • who has indications for transplant
  • who has no medical contraindications to transplant surgery (no medical problems that would make transplant surgery dangerous)
  • who has no psychosocial contraindications to transplant surgery (has adequate health insurance, stable psychiatric history, safe housing, adequate support system, including care after transplant, and no active drug or alcohol abuse)

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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.