CHOP has one of the largest pediatric liver transplant centers in the country. Our surgeons perform anywhere from 10 to 24 pediatric liver transplants each year. To date, the program has performed nearly 350 liver transplants, and our survival rates consistently exceed national averages.
Organ donor awareness
While we have no way of knowing how long your child will have to wait for a compatible liver, you should know that the geographic setting of CHOP can shorten wait times for patients waiting for a liver. Organ donation awareness is high in the Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware region, due largely to effective education by state governments. In fact, Gift of Life, the organ procurement organization for this region, has the highest procurement rate in the nation.
The HUP connection
Since 1995, CHOP and its next-door neighbor, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP), have conducted a joint liver transplant program. This affiliation allows CHOP an opportunity to draw upon the experience of one of the nation's largest adult programs. The two hospitals also conduct ongoing clinical research trials.
CHOP's association with HUP makes more organs available for our pediatric liver transplant patients. For example, livers offered to adult recipients at HUP can often provide liver segments to children through split-liver transplantation (surgeons perform approximately 120 adult transplants per year at HUP). We also offer living donation from adult to child.
After your child's liver transplant, he will be cared for in CHOP’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), one of the nation's largest and best-equipped PICUs. The unit's highly experienced critical care staff is specifically trained in the care of transplant patients — as well as a variety of other critically ill children — and works closely with the transplant team on its daily rounds.
When it’s time to leave the PICU, your child will be transferred to a medical/surgical unit, where the nursing staff also has special training in care for patients who have received a liver transplant. Our specialists will also consult with your child's pediatrician or family doctor regularly and update him or her on your child's progress.
Each Liver Transplant Program staff member knows this is a difficult time for your family. While we can't ease all the emotional stress you're under, we'll do all we can to help you cope. We know that clear communication about your child's illness and progress is especially important, so we make this a priority.
We can also help you address practical matters, such as dealing with the financial issues related to transplant and follow-up care. If you have any concerns about your child's care, please don't hesitate to ask any transplant team member.