Learn more about how Ohio State is leading the way in organ transplantation!

Why choose Ohio State for liver transplant?

Expertise: We are one of two locations in Ohio able to perform adult living liver donor transplants. We are also experts in treating hepatocellular carcinoma and in preparing these patients for liver transplantation. We are one of only 55 comprehensive cancer centers in the nation, as designated by the National Cancer Institute. In collaboration with the OSUCCC – James, our team of surgical oncologists, interventional radiologists, transplant surgeons, transplant hepatologists and medical oncologists offers unparalleled care for this disease. More about our expertise...

Experience: Our Comprehensive Transplant Center has one of the largest organ transplant programs in the nation and is a preferred provider for all major insurance companies. Each year we perform nearly 600 kidney, liver, pancreas, combined kidney-pancreas, heart and lung transplants. Since our program started in 1967, we have performed 12,000 lifesaving organ transplants including 1,600 liver transplants. More about our experience...

Liver transplant research: We are a member of the Acute Liver Failure Study Group, a collaborative network of 28 hospitals that have studied more than 3,000 cases of acute liver failure. Current trials include phase III investigations of medications to treat hepatitis C, new treatment approaches for treating decompensated liver disease and emerging therapeutic options for both hepatocellular carcinoma and cholangiocarcinoma. We are also one of a select few transplant centers currently involved in the normo thermic ex-vivo liver perfusion clinical phase study.

Liver Transplant Candidates

Liver Transplant Candidates

Many diseases and conditions may cause liver damage or failure:

  • Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC): also called hepatoma, HCC is the most common type of liver cancer. About 75 percent of all liver cancer is caused by HCC, in many times the result of Hepatitis B or C or cirrhosis of the liver caused by alcoholism. 

  • Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH): a common, often “silent” liver disease. It resembles alcoholic liver disease, but occurs in people who drink little or no alcohol. The major feature in NASH is fat in the liver, along with inflammation and damage. 
  • Hepatitis: Your liver is the largest organ inside your body. It helps your body digest food, store energy and remove poisons. Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. 
    • Hepatitis C virus is caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). It usually spreads through contact with infected blood. It can also spread through sex with an infected person and from mother to baby during childbirth. There is no vaccine for HCV.
    • Hepatitis B virus is caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). Hepatitis B spreads by contact with an infected person's blood, semen or other body fluid. An infected woman can give hepatitis B to her baby at birth.
  • Alcohol
  • Autoimmune liver diseases: Autoimmune liver diseases include a family of inflammatory conditions in which the body's immune system attacks the liver or bile ducts.
  • Hereditary liver diseases: The two most common inherited liver diseases are hemochromatosis and alpha-1 anti-trypsin deficiency.
    • Hemochromatosis is a disease in which the body absorbs too much iron. This iron is deposited in the liver, causing progressive scarring of the liver. The primary form of this disease is the most common inherited disease in the U.S. When one family member has this disorder, siblings, parents and children are also at risk.
    • Alpha-1 anti-trypsin deficiency is an inherited liver disease in which an important protein known as alpha-1 anti-trypsin is not manufactured correctly by the liver, and is not able to be released into the blood stream. The protein accumulates in the liver, causing progressive scarring of the liver. It also leads to low levels of the protein in the blood stream, and can often cause lung disease as well.
These conditions may destroy healthy liver cells and result in cirrhosis (scarring of the liver). When medical treatment is not effective for keeping a liver functioning, a transplant may be the only treatment. 

Your overall health, not your age, is the most important factor in determining if you are a suitable organ recipient. Screenings before transplant ensure that you are in good medical and psychological health and that you have the motivation and support to comply with treatment plans. All patients must meet the chemical dependency requirements of the Ohio Solid Organ Transplantation Consortium. People who have cancer in other areas of the body, serious heart, lung or nerve disease, active drug or illegal drug abuse or active serious infection may be ruled out as transplant candidates.

Patient Process

Liver Transplant Process

Liver Transplant Process

A goal of our Comprehensive Transplant Center is to ensure our transplant patients experience a thorough continuity of services through the entire transplant process, including pre-transplant evaluation, communication throughout the waiting process, acute medical care during and following surgery, intensive outpatient treatment, post-transplant outpatient visits and ongoing telephone follow-up.

Treatment Team

Liver Transplant Team

Liver Transplant Team

Our Comprehensive Transplant Center treatment team includes:

Frequently Asked Questions

Liver Transplant Frequently Asked Questions

Liver Transplant Frequently Asked Questions

More on the Liver Transplant Process

Your Primary Contact for Liver Transplantation

Teri Davis, MSN, RN

Transplant nurse coordinator, Teri Davis, explains how patients are guided through the liver transplantation process each step of the way.

Liver Transplant Surgery Process

Sylvester Black, MD, PhD

Transplant surgeon, Dr. Sylvester Black, discusses the surgical procedure and recovery for liver transplantation.

Support Needed for Liver Transplantation

Kim Ansley, MSW, LSW

Transplant social worker, Kim Ansley, explains patient education and support systems needed for liver transplantation.

Patient Success Stories

Liver Transplant Renews Lifestyle, Plus a Whole Lot More

After a liver transplant, Doug regained his active lifestyle, married and now enjoys spending time with his newborn son.

A 'New Normal' After Liver Transplant at the Age of 25

April was born with biliary atresia and never supposed to live past her second birthday, much less live to adulthood and have two children.

Liver Transplant Recipient Shares His Unexpected Christmas Gift of Life

Mike is the type of guy who doesn’t like to rely on anyone. But he found that he needed his family, and Ohio State's transplant team when he needed a liver transplant.

Directed Liver Donation Saves a Life and Brings New Life

When two parishioners from Pomeroy, Ohio asked their church congregations to pray for two young individuals, they didn't realize that these two individuals would be connected forever.

Liver Transplant Brought Renewed Life, with No More Headaches

Elizabeth suffered severe migraine headaches for the majority of her adult life. Doctors discovered that a failing liver was to blame.

Living 25 years with a Transplanted Liver

A diagnosis of hepatitis as a teenager led to Susan needing a liver transplant. 25 years later, Susan continues to live a healthy and fulfilled life.

Tips From Our Experts

Easing Fears About Liver Transplantation

By Dr. Ken Washburn

While it’s normal to be fearful of having a liver transplant, liver transplantation is very safe and has excellent survival rates, with the majority of patients seeing rapid improvement following surgery.

Expected Quality of Life After Liver Transplantation

By Dr. Sylvester Black

Learn about expected quality of life and lifespan after liver transplantation surgery.

Hepatologist Role in Transplant Process

When a patient requires a liver transplant, a hepatologist assesses disease severity and coordinates the involvement of various transplant team specialists.

Liver Transplant Surgery Process

Sylvester Black, MD, PhD

Transplant surgeon, Dr. Sylvester Black, discusses the surgical procedure and recovery for liver transplantation.

Our Providers

Our Latest Liver Transplant News

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