Liver Transplant Program

The Pediatric Liver Transplant Program is one of the nation's leading liver transplant centers, known for excellent outcomes and for helping pioneer techniques that have made transplantation safer and more successful. This earned us a center of excellence designation from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. We care for young patients of all ages and sizes, from infants to young adults, and more than half of our pediatric liver transplant patients are younger than 2.

UCSF was among the first in the nation to perform liver transplants using living donors, and we now perform more of this type than any other program nationwide. With expertise in managing the immune-suppressing medications patients take after transplant (to prevent the body from rejecting the new liver), we work to minimize or even eliminate the need for these drugs over the long term.

Our main goal is to help our patients enjoy a normal life as soon as possible. To achieve this, we've assembled a team of specialists in transplant surgery, gastroenterology and hepatology, infectious disease, anesthesiology and pharmacology, as well as nurse coordinators, social workers, mental health professionals, nutritionists and financial counselors. We work closely with one another and with each family to achieve the best possible outcome for their child.

Our care doesn't end with the surgical recovery. We monitor both the function of the transplanted liver and our patients' overall growth and development throughout their childhood and into early adulthood. Most catch up on or accelerate their growth and go on to enjoy a normal quality of life. A number of our former patients are now grown up, with children of their own.

Our outcomes

Children who receive liver transplants at UCSF Health have a survival rate of 95 percent one year after transplant and 90 percent five years after transplant, well above the national average. Among those who receive transplants from living donors, the three-year survival rate is 100 percent. Our program also has one of the lowest re-transplantation rates – the percentage of patients who need a second transplant – in the country.

More outcomes data is available from the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients and from the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network.

Webinars: Pediatric organ transplants

Webinar

COVID-19 and pediatric transplant recipients

El seminario web

La COVID-19 los recipientes de trasplantes pediátricos

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