What you need to know before and after a liver transplant

What is a liver transplant?

A liver transplant is a major operation where a diseased liver is removed and replaced by a liver from a donor. It is a life-saving treatment for some patients with cirrhosis and end-stage liver disease (ESLD).

There are three main stages to having a liver transplant:

  1. Assessment to find out if you're able to have a liver transplant
  2. Going on the waiting list - if suitable, you'll need to wait for a healthy liver to become available, this may take several months
  3. Liver transplant surgery - if a liver becomes available, you'll need to go into a transplant centre for the operation

This is a long and often difficult process. It's important to understand the benefits and risks of a liver transplant and what life might be like after the operation.

Getting started

Get information on why you might need a liver transplant and what tests are involved.

>> Is a liver transplant right for you?

Benefits and risks

Learn about how a liver transplant can help, possible complications and warning signs.

>> What are the pros and cons?

Waiting for a liver

Find out about receiving a liver, waiting times and the organ offering process.

>> What do you need to know?

At the transplant centre

Find out about getting admitted to hospital, transplant surgery and when you can go home.

>> What happens at the transplant centre?

Living with a transplant

Discover the best ways to stay mentally and physically healthy after a liver transplant.

>> What can you do after a transplant?

Care and support

Find out about support groups and getting help for depression or anxiety.

>> Who can help?

Liver transplant facts and stats


Marked the first successful liver transplant


Adult liver transplants were performed
in 2021/2022 in the UK*


 Liver transplant centres in the UK

Useful links

Talk to your liver doctor (hepatologist)

If you have any questions about liver transplantation, please speak to your care team who will be able to offer guidance and advice.

NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) and the British Transplantation Society (BTS) update these pages regularly to reflect current UK organ donation and transplantation policies and practice. However, this website is not designed to replace discussions with the transplant teams caring for you. Your transplant team know you and your medical condition best and can give you more detailed information to inform and support your decisions. NHSBT and the BTS do not accept any responsibility or liability for any loss or damage caused to any persons as a result of any reliance placed upon, or decisions made as a result of, information given on this website.

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