Transplant Decision

To decide whether a liver transplant is the right treatment for your child, the transplant team at Seattle Children's Hospital will carefully assess your child's:

  • Medical need for transplant (urgency)
  • Blood and diagnostic tests
  • Medical history, including previous surgery
  • Physical exam

We also consider what we learned in our meetings with your family.

The biggest factor in making the transplant decision is the urgency of your child's situation. If your child is in intensive care with acute liver failure, the evaluation and transplant decision can be made within one day.

You can expect a decision within one week of completing your pre-transplant evaluation if your child has had liver disease for a long time and the liver's function continues to get worse.

Once all of your child's information and test results are ready, the entire transplant team will meet to make the decision.

A member of the team will communicate the recommendation to you by phone or at your child's next scheduled clinic visit. You will also receive a notice of this recommendation in writing.

The decision could include any of the following:

  • Your child is ready to be listed for transplant now
  • Transplant is not the best option for your child
  • Your child may be a candidate for transplant in the future; however, your child is not clinically ready for transplant at this time

If the team decides that your child is a candidate for liver transplant and you as a family agree, your child will be placed on the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) transplant waiting list, even if your child is receiving liver tissue from a living donor.