Do You Need a Liver Transplant?

Liver disease can seriously damage your organ. Sometimes lifestyle changes, like a different diet, or treatments, like medications, can prevent further damage. Your doctor may recommend a liver transplant, though, if these treatments do not stop your liver from failing.

Our liver transplant specialists work jointly with experts from our nationally renowned Liver Disease Center. Our combined team works with you to determine if a transplant is your best option.

Liver disease symptoms

When you have liver disease, your body has a hard time ridding itself of toxins and breaking down food. You may experience:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloating
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Itchy or yellow skin (jaundice)

Liver failure causes

Liver failure can threaten your life but usually takes years to develop. Common causes of liver failure include:

Screening for liver transplant surgery

You must complete several medical tests to determine if you are eligible for a liver transplant:

  • Physical exam
  • Blood tests for liver enzymes, liver function, diabetes, cholesterol and HIV
  • Blood and tissue typing
  • Heart tests, such as echocardiogram (ECG), electrocardiogram (EKG) and stress test
  • Imaging tests, including chest X-rays, abdominal ultrasound, computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Liver biopsy
  • Lung function test

Additional liver transplant requirements

Before you can continue the liver transplant process, you must also meet certain criteria:

  • Complete a mental health assessment: A mental health screening detects potential issues that could interfere with your transplant surgery and recovery.
  • Remain drug- and alcohol-free: You must abstain from alcohol, tobacco and prohibited drugs for at least 6 consecutive months before you receive a transplant. You should not use these substances after your transplant, either. Henry Ford provides addiction treatment and tobacco treatment services for those who need it.
  • Establish a support system: You need a dependable group of caregivers who can provide help during your recovery.
Take the next step

Speak with a Transplant Institute specialist.

Schedule Appointment Online

Please call 911 if you have an emergency or urgent medical question.

If you are having symptoms of COVID-19, for your safety, please select a MyChart video visit on demand or call your primary care provider. For symptoms of COVID-19, please visit our website

Please note: Appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine can ONLY be scheduled through the COVID-19 vaccine button on eligible Henry Ford MyChart accounts at this time. Due to limited supply, they are only available at select locations and by appointment only. Get more details here.

Henry Ford Health System is committed to ensuring our Deaf or hard-of-hearing patients and visitors have equal access to all services. We provide the appropriate auxiliary aids and services, including qualified sign language interpreters, TTYs and other assistive listening devices, at no cost. To request assistance, call 313-916-1896 or email [email protected].

Schedule Appointment for