Liver Transplant For Alcoholic Cirrhosis – Center requirements are different

Patients often ask about liver transplant center alcohol criteria.    Some centers require a specific period of documented sobriety prior to listing for liver transplant.   Most centers require six months or more, but we look at that issue a little differently.  Throughout my career I have always tried to help as many people as possible.  Studies and experience have shown that many patients with acute alcoholic hepatitis will not live six months without a liver transplant.  Many programs avoid this subset of patients, while the majority now restrict liver transplantation only after a requirement of a six month period of abstinence from alcohol.  Unfortunately, there is a group of patients that won’t survive this period of waiting.  A recent paper by Mathurin (N Engl J Med 365;19) showed that expeditious liver transplantation in patients with acute alcoholic hepatitis who were unlikely to survive 6 months had excellent survival (nearly 80%) and that a very small percentage of these resumed any alcohol and of these, none had any deleterious effects to their liver.  Only one out of four patients who was refused liver transplantation was alive 6 months later.

Due to the data presented above, my team looks at the patient with alcoholic cirrhosis on a case-by-case basis to determine liver transplant candidacy. Given the excellent outcomes my team is offfering evaluation for liver transplantation without a 6 month abstinence waiting period.  If you or your loved one has been turned down at another center, or is at a center requiring a 6 month or longer waiting time prior to consideration for evaluation, please call me or text me at 303-601-5002 to arrange for an evaluation at our center.

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NanoKnife

One of the newest tools we have to treat tumors is the NanoKnife®.  I am the first surgeon in Colorado to use NanoKnife® in resection for cure of cholangiocarcinoma of the liver.   This form of ablation is used to destroy cells in tumors near senstive veins or arteries that could not be resected (cut away) or ablated using other methods such as radiofrequency or cryo ablation.   Based on my experience since being one of the first surgeons trained to use it, is that is indeed does provide more viable options for patients.

Liver Transplant and Hepatobiliary Surgery in Denver

Hi, I am Tom Heffron.    Recently I moved to Denver from Atlanta where I was practicing at Emory University and Children’s HealthCare of Atlanta at Egleston.    I have performed over 1,000 liver transplants including over 140 living donors over the past 25 years.    Globally only nine active liver surgeons have that much experience, only five of which are in the US including me.   Let me through my experience give you hope.  I am glad to be able to help people in the Rocky Mountain west region who need a liver transplant or complex hepatobiliary surgery.   I have been fortunate to be a member of the first team to do living related liver transplants in Chicago and have successfully transplanted both the youngest child and smallest child in the world.     My innovative techniques and experience allow me to give you the best chances when undergoing a life changing surgery.    My website has more detailed information about my training, experience, outcomes, research and innovations in transplant surgery.

Email me at tom@drtomheffron.com to schedule an appointment.    I will personally follow-up with you within 1 day unless I am in the operating room.   In that case my staff will give you a call or email.