Liver Transplantation

The Mary Lea Johnson Richards Organ Transplantation Center at NYU Langone provides comprehensive care for patients requiring liver transplantation. In addition, we offer complete medical and surgical care for patients who have a wide range of acute or chronic liver disease, including hepatitis B and C, cholestatic liver disease, sclerosing cholangitis, acute fulminant liver failure, and biliary tract disorders.

When a Liver Transplant is Needed

The liver is the largest solid organ in the human body, located under the rib cage on the upper right side of the abdomen. It is one of the most important organs in the body, because it has many life sustaining functions. It breaks down and stores nutrients, including fats, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. The liver also filters and processes blood as it circulates through the body, detoxifies harmful substances, and makes blood-clotting proteins, among other functions.

Injury to the liver from conditions such as hepatitis, excessive alcohol consumption, nutritional deficiencies, and liver cancer can lead to chronic scarring—called cirrhosis—or acute liver failure. In either condition, the damaged liver cannot carry out its many functions, and people with these conditions may experience progressively worsening symptoms.

If you have been referred for a liver transplant evaluation, your physician has recognized these signs of liver failure, and a transplant may be your best option.

There are two types of liver donation: those from a living donor, which is a person who is willing to donate a piece of his or her liver, and those from a cadaver donor, in which a deceased person or his or her family has consented to donate the person’s entire liver. Cadaver donors are the most common source of livers for transplantation in the United States.

NYU Langone’s renowned liver and transplant specialists diagnose liver conditions and help you weigh your treatment options to determine if a transplant is the best approach for you.

Other Types of Liver Surgery

Surgeons at NYU Langone and the Mary Lea Johnson Richards Organ Transplantation Center also specialize in the following types of procedures.

Hepatobiliary Surgery

Our specialists perform nontransplant hepatobiliary surgery to manage a variety of liver, bile duct, and gallbladder-related diseases. They use advanced techniques—including minimally invasive and conventional surgery techniques—to treat people with these conditions.

Procedures include:

  • surgical removal of benign (noncancerous) and malignant (cancerous) diseases of the liver, including hepatocellular carcinoma
  • surgical repair or removal of the gallbladder and bile duct to treat people with benign and malignant disease
  • laparoscopic repair of bile duct injuries and bile duct stones
  • laparoscopic gallbladder removal

Surgical Resection of the Liver for Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Surgical resection for hepatocellular carcinoma, or liver cancer, involves removing the portion of the liver that is diseased, which usually includes the tumor and surrounding tissue. The patient’s liver is able to regenerate within a few weeks, depending on the size of the portion removed.