Liver Transplant

If your liver stops working properly due to disease or injuries or if you have end-stage liver disease, a liver transplant can be a lifesaving opportunity.

Trust UC San Diego Health's liver transplantation experts, who are known for patient-centered, compassionate care and successful outcomes. We transplant livers from deceased donors as well as living donors. Our patient survival rates for liver transplants exceed the national average.

We offer full-spectrum liver care, from diagnostics and testing to novel therapies and unique clinical trials. We work closely with you and your family to help you make the best decisions in complex situations and ensure a healthier quality of life.

Why Choose Us?

We offer innovative care customized to your needs, from initial evaluation to surgery and beyond.

Unmatched Experience

As the region's leader in transplantation, we have over 25 years of experience in performing transplants using livers from deceased and living donors. We performed 148 liver transplants in 2023, demonstrating our expertise in achieving a high volume of transplants safely and successfully. 

And we receive referrals from across the nation and internationally. Through a joint liver transplantation program with Sharp HealthCare, we can help more patients throughout the community.

High Survival Rates

Thanks to our academic medical center’s research team, patients can access promising new therapies that improve long-term outcomes and quality of life.

Our patient survival rates for liver transplants exceed the national average, placing us among the nation's best transplant centers by the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR).

Comprehensive Care

End-stage liver disease can be caused by chronic liver disease or acute liver failure, resulting in a need for a liver transplant. Our transplant specialists provide comprehensive and innovative treatments for all aspects of liver disease.

Depend on us for accurate diagnosis and efficient management of liver disease and any liver cancer progression before transplant. We evaluate your condition and eligibility for a liver transplant, help you prepare for surgery and offer continual support for a successful recovery.

Several Transplant Options

Our doctors are highly skilled in different transplant procedures, including liver transplants from living donors.

Liver Transplant Process

Find out about the liver transplant process, from referral to health screening to getting on the national waiting list. Know more about transplant surgery, post-surgical care and recovery.

What to Expect

Liver Transplant Surgery Options

UC San Diego Health's liver transplant experts are highly skilled in procedures such as deceased donor transplants, split transplants and domino liver transplants. As part of an academic medical program, our team is heavily involved in research and clinical trials to refine and develop new surgical techniques.

We perform the following types of liver transplant procedures:

  • Deceased donor after brain death liver transplant
    In this procedure, the liver comes from a donor who is diagnosed as "brain dead" but with other organs functioning.
  • Deceased donor after circulatory death (DCD) liver transplant
    In this procedure, the liver comes from a donor whose cardiac circulation and respiratory functions stopped first. The organ is kept viable using a warm perfusion pump.
  • Living donor liver transplant
    This kind of transplant is a lifesaving operation that allows a healthy volunteer to donate part of their liver to help someone in need. Both your liver piece and the transplanted piece grow back to normal size. We are skilled in the complex care of living donors. Learn more about liver donation.
  • HIV-positive transplant
    As part of the HOPE clinical trial, a liver from a donor with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is transplanted into an HIV-positive recipient. Learn more about this groundbreaking procedure.
  • Split transplant
    During this procedure, the deceased donor's liver is divided and used for two transplant recipients. For example, this procedure can provide liver function to two pediatric patients needing liver transplantation.
  • Domino transplant
    This type of transplant uses one donated liver to save two lives. It transplants a liver from a living or deceased donor into a younger patient with a genetic disorder or metabolic disease, such as amyloidosis, which prevents the patient from using the liver. The recipient’s original liver, which is normal and functioning, is then transplanted or “dominoed” into an older patient, who may develop symptoms of amyloidosis, but it usually takes decades to develop.

Paying for Your Transplant

Rely on our financial coordinator to help you with every financial aspect of your transplant surgery. UC San Diego Health accepts most major insurance plans for transplant services.

View Transplant Plans Accepted

Living Liver Donation

Donating your liver to someone in need is a lifesaving act. Unlike other organs, the liver can regenerate and grow back to normal size. All potential donors are medically screened to protect their health and safety. We are skilled in the complex care of living liver donors. Discover more about living kidney donation at UC San Diego Health.

Give the Gift of Life

Classes & Support Groups for Liver Transplant Patients

Join our complimentary classes and/or support groups to learn about the liver transplant process, ask questions and share your experiences with other transplant patients.

Get Support

Liver Transplant Team

The liver transplant experts at UC San Diego Health provide comprehensive treatment for people with end-stage liver disease due to chronic liver disease and acute liver failure. 

Your treatment team includes surgeons, hepatologists, nurse practitioners, nurse coordinators, pharmacists, dietitians and social workers, as well as financial coordinators to help you with the financial aspects of your transplant surgery.


Support Our Patient Assistance Fund

Donations are vital in helping liver transplant recipients and living liver donors as well as their families. Your financial gift is deeply appreciated!

Give now to the abdominal transplant support fund or the Brian Underwood endowed fund.