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The Transplant

Once you arrive at Jewish Hospital, you will be taken to your room to be prepared for surgery. Lab work, EKG and Chest x-ray will be performed to ensure that you are well enough for surgery. Your family should stay with you until you go to the operating room and remain at the hospital while you are in surgery. While in the surgery waiting area, they will receive periodic updates on your status. The transplant incision will extend from the sternum to the umbilical area and then out several inches on either side of the umbilicus. This type of incision is commonly referred to as a “chevron incision.”

The liver transplant operation itself takes around six to eight hours, and you will also need to be monitored for a few hours following the surgery.  

Patients are then transferred to Jewish Hospital's intensive care unit (ICU) to recover. Visitation is open within the ICU, but families may be asked to step out periodically for various bedside procedures. Each patient will come out of surgery on a ventilator, have multiple abdominal drains (to help prevent fluid build up and potential infections), a drain coming out of their nose, several IV sites and a catheter in their bladder.