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:

  • Medications
  • 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

To Refer A Patient

To refer patients for liver transplant evaluations at UPMC’s Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute:

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For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

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