Liver Transplant Program

After Pediatric Liver Transplant Surgery:
The PICU Stay

Once your child's liver transplant surgery is over, the pediatric liver transplant team will carefully monitor her recovery. Recovery care will involve a number of steps because your child's doctors want to ensure she is healthy and her new liver is functioning properly.

The Pediatric Intensive Care Unit

Your child's first stop after liver transplant surgery will be the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). When your child arrives in the PICU, the nurses and physicians will ask you to wait to see your child so they can get her settled. The PICU is a busy place with many different types of equipment, alarms and sounds. Your child may be hooked up to quite a few pieces of equipment, and you may find it all a bit overwhelming. It helps to know how all this technology is helping your child, so here are some of the things you may see attached to her in the PICU:

Some of these tubes and lines will be removed when your child is transferred out of the PICU; others may stay in longer. If you have any questions, be sure to ask your child's caregivers.

Your child will also be monitored closely with routine studies and tests, such as:

Once your child is medically stable and doesn't require frequent monitoring, she'll be transferred from the PICU to a surgical unit, where nurses will continue to care for her and assess her recovery.

Find out more about the PICU at CHOP.

Reviewed by: Elizabeth B. Rand, MD
Date: November 2012

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