Liver Transplant Survivorship

Jennifer C. Lai, Nneka N. Ufere, John C. Bucuvalas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

For both children and adults with end-stage liver disease, liver transplantation represents a lifelong treatment, not a cure. The physical and psychological process of undergoing transplantation begins well before the surgery itself. Concerns regarding suffering and death from end-stage liver disease are replaced by a lifelong need for multiple medications, ongoing monitoring of graft function, and heightened vigilance for complications related not only to the transplant itself but to longterm immunosuppression. The psychological toll from the entire transplant experience on the patient and caregivers, as well as the strain that such a major treatment places on these human interactions can leave emotional scars that persist longer than the surgical healing process itself. The concept of survivorship, originally applied to patients with cancer, acknowledges the ongoing spectrum of care and support that patients and their caregivers require to optimize longterm outcomes after serious medical treatment. Transplant survivorship would expand the focus of care of a patient with end-stage liver disease beyond disease-specific issues and survival alone. This viewpoint explores the need for such a construct in the field of liver transplantation to promote a more holistic approach that encompasses the overall physical, psychological, social, and spiritual well-being of the liver transplant patient.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1030-1033
Number of pages4
JournalLiver Transplantation
Volume26
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2020

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