After Your Child’s Liver Transplant

New changes to your family's life

Taking a child home after a liver transplant can be stressful. Your family may feel fear, anger, depression and guilt about the liver transplant. By sharing these feelings, you may find it easier to cope with change. Our team is here to help you in any way that we can. 

Talking to your child

Many children believe a liver transplant is caused by something they did, said or thought. Explain that to your child that the cause of the liver transplant was not his fault.

Talk to your child about his feelings. Let him know that all his feelings are normal and always be honest with your child about your own feelings.

Medicines after transplant

After a liver transplant, your child will take medicines called immunosuppressants. These important medicines will help keep your child from rejecting his new liver and in the best possible health.

Possible complications after transplant

Some children who receive a pediatric liver transplant have complications. Infection and rejection are two of the most common complications after a pediatric liver transplant. Your child's liver transplant team will help you learn about the early signs of complications. It is important to know:

  • Rejection is a natural response of your child's immune system. The immune system is the body's defense against an unknown material such as viruses, bacteria and some types of cancers. Your child's body tries to reject the new liver because it recognizes it as an unknown in the body.
  • Your child is more likely to get an infection when taking immunosuppressants. The risk of infection is greatest in the first three to six months after a liver transplant.

Learn more about caring for your child after transplant