Liver Transplantation

Clinical Services: Liver Transplantation, Hepatobiliary & Pancreatic Surgery
Upper East Side
1283 York Avenue, 9th Floor
New York, NY 10065
Call
(212) 746-2127

 

 At Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian, we understand that liver disease and surgery may be a scary or overwhelming process for you and your caregiver. Our world renowned team of surgeons and specialists provide care for people who are in need of a liver transplant. 

Your liver transplantation team will include liver transplant hepatologists, gastroenterologists, hepatobiliary surgeons, radiologists and pathology experts, advanced-care nurses, social workers, and patient support staff — who work collaboratively to ensure that you receive the best treatment possible.

At NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, we are committed to outstanding patient care, research, and educational programs. Our experts provide personalized care for each patient from the first visit, through surgery and follow-up care after transplant. We are committed to advancing the science of transplantation in order to develop safer and more individualized therapies for our patients.

Why Choose Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian for Liver Transplantation?

Exceptional surgeons: Our liver transplant team has extensive experience treating all stages of liver failure. We routinely care for patients with rare, complex or technically challenging conditions. Our patients are comforted knowing that our surgeons have years of training and experience.

Our Center Saves More Lives in Less Time: Transplantations save lives in patients affected by terminal organ failures and improve quality of life. The transplant rate tells how many patients on a transplant program’s waiting list underwent transplant per time on the waiting list. The transplant rate provides an overall summary of how quickly our patients undergo transplantation.

 

Leaders in advanced techniques and technology: Our surgeons use the most advanced surgical techniques and technology available. We specialize in minimally invasive techniques — including laparoscopic and robotic-assisted surgical procedures — which offer effective care for our patients with less pain, less bleeding and a shorter recovery.

Higher Transplant Rate Means Shorter Wait Time: The waiting list for liver transplantation grows every day. Despite improved awareness of organ donation and the unyielding need for donors, every 10 minutes someone is added to the transplant waiting list. With that said, NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center has one of the shortest wait times for liver transplants in the country. Our philosophy is to treat your symptoms and not your MELD (model for end-stage liver disease) score.

Patients with Disadvantaged MELD Scores (6-14) Are More Likely to Get Transplanted At Our Center: Our Center transplants more patients with disadvantaged MELD scores than any other New York Metropolitan Transplant Center. We do this through an individualized approach by assessing each organ and matching to patients. If you are a patient with a lower MELD score, Weill Cornell Medical Center gives you the best chance of transplant.

Our Center Accepts a Higher Number of Organs: Transplant rates depends on the Centers acceptance of organs. At Weill Cornell Medical Center, we take our time to fully evaluate the health of each organ and its potential to save our patients lives.

Conditions We Diagnose and Treat

Liver transplantation surgically replaces a failing or diseased liver with one that is normal and healthy. At this time, transplantation is the only cure for liver insufficiency or liver failure because no device or machine reliably performs all of the functions of the liver. The liver is a vital organ, meaning that one cannot live without it. The liver serves many critical functions including metabolism of drugs and toxins, removing degradation products of normal body metabolism (for example clearance of ammonia and bilirubin from the blood), and synthesis of many important proteins and enzymes (such as factors necessary for blood to clot). 

People who require liver transplants typically have one of the following conditions: 

  • Acute Liver Failure-occurs when a previously healthy liver suffers massive injury resulting in clinical signs and symptoms of liver insufficiency. The hallmark of this condition is the development of confusion (encephalopathy) within eight weeks after the onset of yellowing of the skin (jaundice). Confusion occurs because toxins typically metabolized by the liver accumulate. Unlike patients with chronic liver disease, who can survive weeks to months to years while awaiting liver transplantation, patients with acute liver failure may die within days if not transplanted. 

  • Chronic Liver Failure- the liver has a remarkable ability to repair itself in response to injury. Nevertheless, repeated injury and repair, typically over many years and even decades, scars the liver permanently. The end stage of scarring is termed cirrhosis and corresponds to the point where the liver can no longer repair itself. Although medications can decrease the symptoms caused by the liver failure, liver transplantation represents the only permanent cure. 
     
  • Liver Cancer- for patients with both early-stage hepatocellular carcinoma and cirrhosis who cannot undergo resection (removal), the latest advancement in treatment is liver transplantation. In a small percentage of patients, the liver function is normal and surgical removal of the tumor is possible with good long-term results, and this is always the first choice for treatment.  Unfortunately, however, most patients have associated liver disease (that is, cirrhosis) from a long-term condition like hepatitis C or fatty liver disease, and this damage is known to lead to liver cancer.

 

Our liver transplantation team has developed a unique depth and breadth of experience, serving a specialized center known for leading-edge medical, surgical and aftercare knowledge and techniques.

Make an Appointment

Whether you visit us virtually through a video visit or you see us in person, you can be assured that we will deliver the highest standards of care with compassion. Our team has taken every step to keep our facilities safe for you to continue your care. Learn more about our safety measures and the changes we’ve made to enhance your patient experience.

If you would like a remote second opinion, we can connect you directly with expert physicians and specialists at the Weill Cornell Medicine Liver Transplantation, Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgery division. Learn more at WCM Department of Surgery Second Opinion.

 

Meet Our Team

The Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian liver transplantation team offers patients the highest level of safety and care. As a top-ranked academic medical center, you have access to our extensive network of specialists who provide seamless care throughout your treatment — to promote long-term physical and mental health.

 

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