Liver transplant surgery

Find out what happens during the transplant operation

Key points

  • You will be put to sleep under a general anaesthetic while the transplant takes place
  • The surgery will take between 5-8 hours
  • Your diseased liver is removed and the donated liver will be transplanted into the same place
  • The operation can be divided into two stages – removing your damaged liver and transplanting the donor liver

How is liver transplant surgery performed?

A donor liver is transplanted in the same place as your old liver. This involves the removal of the diseased liver and replacement with the donated liver. The operation time varies depending on complexity of the procedure and operating surgeon. It is often between 5- 8 hours.

The medical name for the procedure is an Orthotopic Liver Transplant. It can be divided into two main stages:

Some things that will happen during liver transplant surgery

Possible complications of the surgery

More information

Medical terms explained


This is when a very small piece of tissue is taken for analysis. It is used to diagnose rejection.

View all medical terms

You may also be interested in