Information about liver transplantation in the UK

COVID-19: see our advice for clinical staff involved in facilitating organ and tissue donation and transplantation in the UK.

Although the first liver transplants were performed by Thomas Starzl in Denver, the pioneering work of Sir Roy Calne established the world's second liver transplant unit in Cambridge. The seven liver transplant units in the UK continue to lead in aspects of liver transplantation in adults and children.

The most common form of liver transplant in the UK is a whole liver into an adult recipient, but split liver transplantation is also performed and allows a child and a small adult to each get a transplant from a single donor. There is increasing popularity of living donor liver transplants where a split of the liver is donated. This section of the site describes aspects of liver transplantation in the UK, and NHS Blood & Transplant's role in facilitating these programmes.

NHS Blood and Transplant is supported by clinical input from members of the Liver Advisory Group, with particularly important recent work being done on modernising the methods for matching and offering of livers to patients.

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