Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin's Liver Transplant Program began in 1983 when we performed Wisconsin's first liver transplant. Since then, we have performed more than 500 liver transplants. Currently, we perform about 30 to 40 liver transplants each year. With more than two decades of experience, we provide superior care for liver transplant patients.
Our program has a strong multidisciplinary approach, relying on the expertise of physicians in a wide range of specialties. Patients with liver failure often have other underlying conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension, lipid disorders, osteoporosis and more. We are able to care for the whole patient because of the breadth of specialties and resources available at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin.
One-year survival rates for our Liver Transplant Program are higher than the national average, and we believe that is due to our multidisciplinary approach and high level of expertise. To compare survival rates of liver transplants across the country, go to the website for the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients.
Because we are a leading academic medical center, Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin hepatologists and other physicians are better able to recognize and treat complications of cirrhosis and other liver diseases, which means patients undergo transplant surgery in overall better health. We currently have four hepatologists on staff to care for patients with end-stage liver disease (cirrhosis) and liver transplants.
Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin also offer a strong team of dedicated support professionals. Our hepatologists and transplant surgeons are assisted by experienced transplant nurses, social workers, psychologists, dietitians and more.
Our success is also linked to the excellent work of the Wisconsin Donor Network (WDN), based at Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin. The WDN recovers the liver from a high percentage of organ donors, which means shorter waiting times for transplant candidates in eastern Wisconsin.
In fact, we have much shorter waiting times than the national average for liver transplants. We also have a low mortality rate for people on our waiting list, meaning patients are less likely to die while waiting for a donated liver to become available.
From the patient’s perspective, it all adds up. Shorter waiting times plus aggressive multidisciplinary care means patients are healthier going into a transplant. That can mean fewer complications and a shorter hospital stay. Surgical advances result in fewer complications, and advances in immunosuppression medications lead to fewer episodes of organ rejection and fewer medication-related complications.