Liver Transplant Anesthesia

The Liver Transplant Anesthesia Service is a subspecialty team that is dedicated to the anesthetic optimization and management of patients with end-stage liver disease who go on to require liver transplantation surgery, and to those undergoing a variety of surgical procedures such as major hepatectomy for liver donation and hepatocarcinoma or a host of associated reasons. 

Our service provides clinical expertise in the perioperative management of at least 125 patients per year who undergo liver transplantation surgery using organs donated after brain death, cardiac death, or by living donors. The Liver Transplant Anesthesia Service participates in the University of Colorado Hospital Liver and Kidney Living Donation program, which performs upwards of 30 living liver donations and 50 living kidney donations every year at the University of Colorado Hospital.

The Liver Transplant Anesthesia Service participates in the weekly preoperative selection and optimization of liver transplantation candidates as part of the multidisciplinary Liver Transplant Selection Committee that also includes specialized transplant surgeons, hepatologists, nephrologists, cardiologists, coordinators, and social workers. It also participates in the selection of living donor candidates.

The anesthesia management for liver transplantation requires specialized clinical knowledge that is not routinely included in the core competency requirements for certification in the field of Anesthesiology, including intraoperative transesophageal echocardiography (TEE), intraoperative dialysis and advanced perioperative blood transfusion and coagulation management.

‚ÄčThe service provides educational training for two anesthesiology residents over a six-week rotation and offers a 12-month fellowship for up to two liver transplant anesthesiology fellows. Liver Transplant Anesthesia Fellows undergo specialized education regarding advanced clinical topics on anesthesia management for liver transplantation, kidney and pancreas transplantation, and other transplant related topics. In addition, the fellowship offers the opportunity to supervise anesthesia residents, participate in research, and be mentored on scholarly activities. 

Our Liver Transplant Anesthesia team comprises anesthesiologists with diverse backgrounds and complementary expertise in Critical Care, Cardiothoracic Anesthesia, Internal Medicine, Pain Management and Clinical Research.