About the Pediatric Liver Transplant Program at Children's Hospital Colorado

Contact Info

Liver Transplant
(720) 777-6011
(720) 777-7344

 The Liver Transplant Program within the Pediatric Liver Center offers a unique and specialized program devoted to the care of children who require liver transplantation. 

What is the purpose of the pediatric liver transplantation program, and what kind of disorders does it treat? 

Liver Transplantation occurs in the Digestive Health Institute

The pediatric liver transplantation program is designed to provide comprehensive multidisciplinary care for children who require liver transplantation from evaluation for possible candidacy to transplant to long term follow up. In general, the indications for liver transplantation include end stage liver disease which will improve with liver transplantation. The first pediatric liver transplant was performed in Colorado at the University of Colorado. The pediatric liver transplant program grew from this program and all pediatric liver transplants have been performed at Children’s Colorado since 1990.

Why choose Children’s Colorado for your teen, child or infant's liver transplant?

Nationally recognized for organ transplantation, Children's Colorado’s Transplant Program, in partnership with the University of Colorado School of Medicine is the only provider of complete pediatric multi-specialty liver transplant services in the Rocky Mountain region. The program emphasizes excellent transplant outcome and a close working relationship with primary care providers and families. 

The Pediatric Liver Transplant Team at Children's Colorado

About our multidisciplinary approach
Families dealing with the overwhelming nature of a chronic childhood disease need innovative care and strong integrated support. Our unique multidisciplinary team at Children's Colorado is on hand to develop pre and post-transplant treatment options for our patients. Our team includes:

  • Pediatric Transplant Surgeon with a special interest in hepatobiliary surgery in children and, along with other Transplant Surgeons, performs the transplant surgery.
  • Pediatric Transplant Hepatologists specialize in the care and management of children with end-stage liver disease both preoperatively and postoperatively.
  • Pediatric Anesthesiologists are pivotal during transplantation and continued advances in anesthesia contribute to improved patient and graft survival.
  • Transplant Coordinators are instrumental in the management of care of these children and the education of their families before, during and after surgery.
  • Social workers provide individual as well as family counseling and support.
  • Nutritionists help maximize the nutritional status of the child while awaiting a transplant and during the recovery phase.
  • Nurses experienced in caring for pediatric liver transplant recipients provide excellent care and help parents understand the daily management of their child in regard to medication compliance and overall well-being.
  • Psychologists experienced in caring for children who require or have undergone liver transplant help develop plans for coping with the stress around transplantation
  • Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialists focused on the unique issues in solid organ transplantation work with the team to help optimize outcomes
  • Pediatric Interventional Radiologists assist with the unique needs of the pediatric transplant candidates and recipients

Specific conditions treated

The types of liver transplants performed include; whole liver, reduced segment liver, split liver and living-related donor liver. We have performed over 180 liver transplants since 1990. The primary indication for liver transplantation in children is end stage liver disease which will limit the life of a child that is correctable by transplant. The more common indications for liver transplantation in children at Children’s Colorado have been:

  • Biliary atresia
  • Acute Liver Failure
  • Alagille Syndrome
  • Alpha-1-Antitrypsin deficiency
  • Autoimmune hepatitis
  • Congenital hepatic fibrosis
  • Liver tumors: Hepatocellular carcinoma and Hepatoblastoma
  • Metabolic disorders: Urea cycle enzyme defects, methylmalonic academia, glycogen storage disease
  • Primary sclerosing cholangitis
  • Progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis
  • Wilson disease

Services offered

  • Comprehensive assessment of candidacy for liver transplantation. In consultation with the child’s physicians we provide an assessment of the child. Liver transplant and additional treatment options for their liver disease are discussed
  • Liver transplant evaluation
  • Medical evaluation by pediatric transplant hepatologist
  • Surgical evaluation by pediatric transplant surgeon
  • Anesthesia evaluation by pediatric transplant anesthesiologist
  • Assessment and education from a pediatric transplant nurse coordinator
  • Social work evaluation
  • Psychology evaluation
  • Financial counseling
  • Laboratory testing
  • Radiologic imaging
  • Other evaluations as needed
  • Research and clinical trials in immunosuppression and transplant management
  • Support groups, annual patient gatherings, directed family educational events