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UCLA Transplantation Services


UCLA Pediatric Liver Transplant Program

Pediatric Liver Transplantation at UCLA

UCLA Medical PlazaThe UCLA Pediatric Liver Transplant Program offers consultation, evaluation and treatment for children in liver failure who may require transplantation.

Program Experience

The UCLA Pediatric Liver Transplant Program was established conjointly with the adult program in 1984. A cohesive multi-disciplinary team approach is utilized by pediatric gastroenterologists and liver transplant surgeons, with consultation from a full range of pediatric sub-specialties for pre and post-transplant conditions.

To date, over 900 pediatric transplants have been performed, making the program one of the largest, most experienced of its kind in the world. The Pediatric Hepatology Division at UCLA is also amongst the most well-established in the nation from a clinical and a research standpoint.  As a result of this expertise and experience, The UCLA Pediatric Liver Transplant Program is recognized nationally and internationally as a leader within the field with excellent one-year patient survival rates.

Over the past two decades UCLA has helped pioneered the expansion of available allografts and donor options through the development of novel surgical techniques.  These include reduced sized cadaveric allografts since 1990, as well as adult-to-child living-donor allografts and cadaveric split-liver allografts both available since 1992.

Program Approach

  • Biliary atresia accounts for 40 percent of our pediatric transplant recipients. Other leading indications for transplantation are fulminant hepatic failure, autoimmune liver disease and a wide range of metabolic diseases. The evaluation for non-emergent transplantation is typically performed on an outpatient basis. Prior to evaluation, a telephone consultation with the referring physician is conducted.
  • A pediatric gastroenterologist and transplant surgeon will review the complete medical record and perform a full history and physical exam. A lengthy conference with the family follows the evaluation.
  • If transplantation is imminent, a consultation with the program's nurse coordinator and social worker is arranged, either during the initial visit or as a second appointment.
  • Laboratory testing, including a comprehensive infectious disease screening, and radiographic imaging are often ordered. A liver biopsy may also need to be performed for diagnostic purposes.
  • Following evaluation and testing, transplant candidates are reviewed by the Multidisciplinary Pediatric Liver Transplant Evaluation Committee, and a decision about listing for transplantation is made. Four transplantation options exist: whole liver, segmental graft, reduced sized graft, or living related.
  • Segmental and reduced sized transplants have greatly enhanced the utilization of donor organs. In these cases, a whole cadaveric liver is divided into two. Approximately one-third of the liver mass (the left lateral segment) is transplanted into a child, and the remaining two-thirds into an adult or large child. Once transplanted, the liver regenerates and grows with the recipient.  
  • Post-transplant hospital care averages three weeks. During this time, the patient is managed by both the pediatric gastroenterologist and the transplant surgeon. Additionally, the Department of Pediatrics' Child Life Specialists play a major role in rehabilitation and family oriented care.   

Our Expert Team

Pediatric Liver Transplant Team »

Contact Us

Pediatric Liver Transplant Program - (310) 206-6134

Indications for Referral

Any child suspected of needing a liver transplant may be referred to the Dumont-UCLA Pediatric Liver Transplant Program. Early referrals are encouraged.

Schedule an Appointment >>

Liver Transplant Links and Downloads

Patient Information Brochures:

pdf file download Life After Transplantation: Taking Good Care of Your New Liver

pdf file download Life Goes On

Medical Personnel Information Brochures:

pdf file download Primary Care Physician Management of the Adult Liver Transplant Recipient

Educational Modules–DIABETIC EDUCATION for adult patients who are diabetic following Liver Transplant:

pdf file download Module One - General Overview of Treatment and Safety

pdf file download Module Two - Self Blood Sugar Monitoring

pdf file download Module Three - Diet and Nutrition + Recipe/Meal Plan Supplement

pdf file download Module Four - Patient Responsibilities

pdf file download Module Five - Long Term Self Care

The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) provides a toll-free patient services lines to help transplant candidates, recipients, and family members understand organ allocation practices and transplantation data. You may also call this number to discuss problems you may be experiencing with your transplant center or the transplantation system in general. The toll-free patient services line number is 1-888-894-6361


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