The Transplant Process: Collaboration and Communication with Referring Physicians
A member of the UPMC liver transplant team communicates with you throughout the entire transplant process and keeps you updated on your patient’s progress.
Pretransplant Medical Management
- Upon referral, your patient is assigned to a pretransplant nurse coordinator
- Once approved for liver transplantation, patients are listed with the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS).
- During the waiting period, our transplant team can collaborate with you to develop a comprehensive treatment plan.
- The nurse coordinator communicates with you to ensure your patient’s status with UNOS is accurate, and keeps you informed about your patient’s condition.
- The transplant coordinator notifies your patient when an organ becomes available.
- The patient then reports for admission to the Starzl Transplant Institute in Pittsburgh and is prepped for surgery.
- Following surgery, patients are transferred to the transplant intensive care unit (TICU) until they are stable.
- The liver transplant team provides primary care during hospitalization and long-term follow-up after discharge.
Post-transplant and Follow-Up Care
After the initial recovery period following surgery, the transplant team will educate patients and family members about post-transplant care instructions, including:
- Activity restrictions
- The frequency of posttransplant blood work and follow-up appointments
Caring for your patient doesn't end upon discharge.
- Patients will return to the Transplant Institute, as needed, so we can adjust medications and ensure organ acceptance.
- After posttransplant recovery, we ask patients to return for an annual evaluation.
- The transplant team works with you to determine when the patient may be transferred back to your care full-time. We continue to be available for consultation.
Continuous communication with the transplant surgeons can include:
- In-person interactions
- By telephone and e-mail
- Teleconference sessions for physicians remotely located