A liver transplant is a procedure performed to replace a liver that has been damaged beyond repair and has ceased proper function. Patients need liver transplants for many reasons, including liver cancer (such as hepatocellular carcinoma), sudden liver failure, polycystic liver disease and, most commonly, cirrhosis. No matter why our patients need transplants, Tampa General Hospital’s Liver Transplant Program is prepared to serve them. Our liver transplant program, which began in 1987, has performed more than 1,400 transplant procedures as of January 2015. Our hospital is one of only seven active centers in Florida that offer liver transplants, and it is one of the busiest. Tampa General’s Liver Transplant Program is also notable for its:
High volume – Tampa General has performed an average of 97 liver transplants per year since 2007, making our program one of the leaders in the state and one of the top 10 programs in the country. One of the reasons behind our high volume of transplants is our close partnership with LifeLink Foundation, Inc., a nationally recognized organ procurement organization.
Survival rates – Not only has our longest-surviving liver transplant recipient had their new liver for more than two decades after the liver transplant procedure, but our one-year and three-year survival rates for liver transplants exceed the national averages, according to latest Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients data released in July 2015. These rates are influenced in part by the skill of our multidisciplinary transplant health care team, which is composed of experienced staff members who also serve as consultants to Tampa General’s other solid organ transplant programs. We also have active programs dedicated to the treatment of Hepatitis C and hepatobiliary carcinoma, unique conditions that require tailored care.
Time to transplant – According to the most recent SRTR data, we transplant our liver patients about twice as quickly as the expected rates. On average, about half of the patients on our waiting list are transplanted in 2.6 months, significantly below the national average of 15.6 months. In fact, our time to transplant is the shortest in Florida and among the shortest in the nation.
Every liver transplant patient who is admitted into our program is first evaluated to determine if a transplant is the most appropriate course of treatment for his or her condition. Potential transplant candidates are considered based on the information provided by their referring primary care physician or gastroenterologist on their liver transplant referral form, and on several other factors.
Contact Tampa General Hospital for more information about our liver transplant program. Call 1-800-505-7769 (press 4 for the liver transplant program and ask for the referral coordinator).