What to Expect at Your First Appointment at the Pediatric Liver Transplant Center
Liver disease can cause a child’s health to decline rapidly, so Cincinnati Children’s offers Liver Care Clinic appointments within 48 hours. We respond even faster if the need is urgent. We also offer second opinion appointments urgently.
Depending on your child’s current condition and the medical records available to us, their first appointment could involve an initial outpatient consultation or a liver transplant evaluation. Other children are admitted as inpatients for their evaluation, depending on their health and the urgency of their need for a liver transplant.
Making an Appointment at the Pediatric Liver Transplant Center
We want it to be easy for you to get the care you or your child needs. You can contact us directly to schedule an appointment. Or, your pediatrician or provider can refer you to our center. If you have been told your child needs a liver transplant at another center, or if they have been declined for a transplant elsewhere, we also provide second opinions.
Before Your Appointment
Our care team will reach out to your child’s doctor for details about your child’s medical history, past test results and previous treatments.
You also will receive a phone call from a transplant financial manager at Cincinnati Children’s. This person will call you to discuss your insurance coverage and transplant-related benefits. He or she also will contact your insurance provider for other details about your coverage. We will make sure you have all the information you need about the financial aspects of liver transplant.
On the Day of Your Visit to the Pediatric Liver Transplant Center
Conditions that affect the liver are often complex and call for care from many different doctors and specialists. We'll work to make your visit with us as easy and efficient as possible. Most importantly, we'll spend the time talking with you and your child about any questions or concerns you may have. We'll also help you prepare for what may come next.
Before Your Appointment
Please keep in mind that our hospital is a big place. You may want to arrive about 30 minutes before your child's appointment — 15 minutes to park and walk to the Liver Care Center (located at main hospital, Burnet Campus) and 15 minutes to check in at the registration desk on C2.
Please contact us if you are running late for your appointment.
At Your Transplant Evaluation Appointment
There are many steps we must take before we’re able to put your child on the wait list for a new liver.
Your child’s first appointment begins with an in-depth exam. This includes blood work, imaging and other tests to confirm their diagnosis. Our team decides if transplant is the best option. If a new liver is needed, they will evaluate the urgency of your child’s condition.
During this visit, our liver transplant team shares our approach to pre- and post-transplant care. We help you understand your child’s illness, the transplant operation, the risks and benefits of this surgery and requirements for follow-up care.
Your child’s evaluation will include visits with all members of the multidisciplinary transplant team, including the anesthesiologist, transplant surgeon, social workers, dietician, psychologist, pharmacist, transplant financial coordinator and infectious disease physician.
After Your Transplant Evaluation Visit
After your liver transplant evaluation, the hepatology and transplant surgery physicians will review all test results, imaging, blood work, and other details of your child’s medical condition to determine if transplant is the best option for your child. Your Transplant Coordinator Nurse will be in frequent contact with you during this time to keep you updated on the process and the status of your child’s approval for transplant.
If your child is approved for a liver transplant procedure, they will be placed on the national transplant waiting list.
People with the most urgent need for a new organ are placed higher on the list. During this time, our team will closely monitor your child’s condition. Support groups are available to help you during this overwhelming time.
Our team will contact you when a liver becomes available. If your child is not already admitted to the hospital to await transplant, you will need to get to the hospital quickly to prepare your child for surgery. If the liver is from a living donor, the surgery will be planned in advance.