At the Florida Hospital Transplant Institute, we take pride in the success of our liver transplant program. Our outcomes and survival rates consistently exceed national averages, and our patients have access to some of the best and most qualified transplant surgeons available anywhere.
Liver transplantation replaces a severely diseased or irreversibly damaged liver with a healthy organ, usually, but not always, from a deceased donor. These transplants are reserved for critically ill patients because the supply of available donor livers does not keep up with demand. In fact, patients often spend months waiting for a liver to become available.
The liver is one of the body’s largest and most important organs. It has many vital functions, supports nearly every other organ in the body, and plays a key role in regulating metabolism, detoxifying harmful substances and digestion. Symptoms of liver problems often don’t show until significant damage has already been done. Unfortunately, there is currently no way to medically compensate for the loss of a liver.
Biology and Causes
Candidates for liver transplantation usually have end-stage irreversible liver failure. Occasionally, transplant may also be an option for patients for whom other treatments have proven ineffective as well as for some individuals with liver cancer.
Individuals with livers that are damaged slowly over time have a condition called chronic liver disease. Individuals whose livers are rapidly damaged, sometimes in just a few weeks, have acute liver failure.
There are many causes of liver failure, including:
- End stages of cirrhosis: Often caused by alcoholism and hepatitis B and C, cirrhosis occurs when liver cells are replaced by scar tissue, leading to a loss of liver function.
- Fulminant hepatic failure: This refers to acute liver failure without any history of liver disease.
- Primary liver cancer: This cancer, called hepatocellular carcinoma, interferes with normal liver function.
- End stages of hemochromatosis: This condition is characterized by excess iron accumulation in the body.
- Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency: The incorrect production of A1AT sometimes affects the liver.
- Metabolic disorders: Some metabolic disorders lead to liver disease and other complications.
Liver Transplant Outcomes
At the Florida Hospital Transplant Institute, we’re proud that are liver transplant survival rates are among the highest in the state, and well above the national average. This demonstrates not only our expertise and experience, but also our ever-present commitment to achieving the best possible outcomes for all our patients.
For example, our three-year liver transplant survival rate is 90.2 percent. The national average, meanwhile, is 79.9 percent. Our three-year liver graft transplant survival rate is also 90.2 percent; the national average, just 75.8 percent.