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

If you are having an emergency, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room. Please do not utilize this scheduling feature for urgent medical situations.

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

If you have traveled to China, Iran, Italy, Japan or South Korea in the last 14 days or been in close contact with someone suspected to have the COVID-19 (Coronavirus), please contact our nurse line @ 313- 874-7500 prior to scheduling.

Schedule Appointment for