Liver transplant team
Duke's liver transplant program uses a team approach to care for you throughout your illness and recovery to new health. Our liver transplant team comprises a diverse group of healthcare professionals, including doctors, nurses, social workers, pharmacists, medical psychologists and others. We work together to determine if a liver transplant is the right treatment for you.
Before your transplant
After you have been listed for transplant, you will attend the Liver Transplant clinic. Until this time you may have seen only one of the medical doctors. You will eventually meet each of the doctors on the team. If you are admitted to the hospital, the doctor who is rounding on the patients will care for you . When you have your surgery, the surgeon who is “on call “ will perform your surgery. The advantage of getting to know each doctor is that they will have met you and will know you when it is time for your transplant.
Your liver transplant team
The following is a list of Liver Transplant Team members and a brief description of their roles. We suggest that you write down the names of your team members as you meet them to help you remember who they are.
- Transplant coordinator. An advanced practice nurse will teach you about your liver disease, treatments and how to take care of yourself after liver transplant. The nurse coordinator is your fastest and most direct access to assistance regarding new problems, questions or results.
- Transplant hepatologist. Specializes in liver disease and liver transplantation. He or she will evaluate your current liver disease and will discuss the option of liver transplantation with you.
- Transplant surgeon. Performs the operation. He or she will explain the liver transplantation surgery to you.
- Social worker. Helps determine your ability to cope with the impact of liver transplantation on you and your family by asking you about your family life and social habits. She may provide counseling or be a resource for social and community resources.
- Medical psychologist. To help us understand how you might react to the stress from the transplant , you may visit with our team psychologist even if you have no history of mental illness. Our psychologists have a great deal of experience in dealing with patients before and after their liver transplant.
- Financial coordinator. Works closely with you and your insurance plan to determine that your transplant is financially approved before you are placed on a waiting list for your new liver. They may also advise you about fundraising methods if necessary to pay for expenses not covered by your insurance.
- Anesthesiologist. Talks to you about how you will be put to sleep during surgery and how any postoperative pain you may experience will be managed. Nutritionist This specialist will help you understand your dietary needs and determine the foods and nutrition that are best for you during the transplant process.
- Pharmacist. Explain your medications to you, their purpose and how they interact with each other. They will make sure the regimen you are on is the best one for you.