One way that Seattle Children’s supports your child and family through this challenging time is by helping you understand as much as possible about the transplant process.

You most likely have many questions about Seattle Children’s and how to prepare your child for their clinic visit. Get information about your child’s clinic visit, including: 

  • Important things to do before the clinic visit
  • Tips on helping your child feel comfortable about the upcoming visit
  • Paperwork to bring the day of the clinic visit
  • Suggested questions to ask your child’s doctor
  • How to prepare for care at home

We accept referrals from your child’s primary care doctor, a specialist or a case manager, or directly from you.

  • Your child will receive a pre-transplant evaluation to determine if a liver transplant is the best option before we can begin working with the organizations that handle the organ donation process.

    We will review your child’s medical and surgical history and schedule office visits with the transplant doctor and transplant team. The office visits usually take place over 2 days.

    Once the pre-transplant evaluation is complete, the transplant team will review your child’s case and determine if liver transplantation is the best option for your child. If you and the transplant team decide to move forward, we can begin working with the organizations that handle the organ donation process.

  • Preparing your child and your family for the surgery may help reduce everyone’s stress during this time.

    Our team will help your family prepare and cope with the experience. We want you to know what’s going to happen each step of the way.

    Learn more about what to expect if your child is having surgery, including: 

    • What to do once surgery is scheduled
    • Tips to help your child feel more comfortable about the surgery
    • What to bring the day of the surgery
    • What to expect the day of the surgery
    • Helpful questions to ask your child’s doctor
    • How to prepare for care at home 

    Most liver transplant surgeries last 6 to 10 hours. During surgery, you will be asked to check in at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) on the 6th floor and be given a pager so that staff in the operating room can keep you informed on how your child is doing.

    There are many comfortable places to wait at the hospital while your child is in surgery.

    If your child has a living donor, the donor’s surgery will take place on the same day at University of Washington Medical Center.

  • Patients begin their recovery in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), where we closely assess and manage their general recovery and liver function.

    Most children stay in the PICU for 3 to 7 days and then are moved to the Surgical Unit. A typical hospital stay is 2 to 3 weeks.

    Learn more about your child’s stay at Seattle Children’s, including: 

    • Things to do before your child’s hospital stay
    • Preparing your child for a hospital stay
    • What to expect during your child’s stay
    • Helpful questions to ask your child’s doctor
    • What to know after your child leaves the hospital 

    See our Main Campus Visitor and Family Guide, which includes: 

    • Services at Seattle Children’s
    • Surrounding neighborhood, including where to stay or to eat 

    Once your child leaves the hospital, they will continue to visit the clinic for follow-up care. A regular schedule of visits will make sure that your child: 

    • Is recovering from surgery
    • Has no signs of infection or organ rejection
    • Is taking their prescribed medicines
    • Is returning to everyday activities