We offer both psychosocial and educational support services to all patients to help them cope with what can often be a difficult and confusing time. These services give them the knowledge and coping skills they need to prepare for surgery and life afterwards. Patients and their family members can both benefit from these resources.
Role of the Support Team
Our psychosocial team works closely with the medical team both before and after surgery. They consist of one full-time psychiatrist and four full-time adult social workers, as well as a full-time pediatric liver and small bowel transplant social worker. They are available to patients and family members throughout the transplantation process.
Each patient and caregiver is required to meet with a social worker and psychiatrist prior to their surgery for a psychosocial evaluation. During this evaluation, the social worker and psychiatrist will review the entire transplant experience. This may include the following topics:
- Liver disease
- Waiting for an organ
- Transplantation surgery
- In-hospital recovery and rehabilitation
- Medications and follow-up care
- Potential caregiving needs
The psychosocial evaluation will also be used to determine whether any other resources might be beneficial to the patient. These may include psychiatric treatment for anxiety or depression, additional transportation options, and home care recommendations.
Following the transplantation surgery, the social worker and, in some cases, the psychiatrist will collaborate with the medical team to help the patient safely discharge from the hospital.
Our psychosocial team will also be available to provide support through additional education and counseling throughout the transplantation process.
Our educational workshops and support groups are designed to provide patients and caregivers with the knowledge and coping skills required for the road ahead — both before surgery and long after.
Educational workshops take place over eight weekly sessions and are held four times per year. Possible topics include:
- An Overview of Liver Disease, Including Listing Criteria for Transplant
- Liver Transplantation Options: Deceased Donor vs. Living Donation
- Immunosuppressant Medications and their Side-Effects
- Patients' Stories of Transplant
- Tour of the Operating Room and ICUs
- Pain Management
- Stress Management
- Physical Therapy
- Psychological Healing
- Post-Transplant Complications
Download a schedule of upcoming workshops at the following hospitals:
- Columbia University Irving Medical Center
- Weill Cornell Medical Center
- Spanish Educational Workshops (Trasplante de Higado Talleres Educativos en Español)
Pre-Transplant Support Group
Waiting for a liver transplant can be very scary. It can be hard to manage the anxiety and fears that come with the uncertainty of waiting for a transplant. Meet up with other patients waiting for liver transplant to discuss your concerns and gain information about the disease process and transplantation. Peer support really does make the journey a little easier.
When: 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm every Wednesday
Where: Via Zoom
Post-Transplant Support Groups
After transplantation surgery, patients face a whole new set of challenges and goals. This is why we strongly encourage all transplant recipients and their families to come to our post-transplant support group. Meet up to share experiences, get advice, and offer mutual encouragement. We now have two post-transplant groups to meet the needs of our different age groups.
Adult Post-Transplant Support Group
When: 10 to 11:30 am every Monday
Where: Via Zoom
Young Adult Post-Transplant Support Group
When: 12:30 pm to 2 pm every Monday
Where: Via Zoom
For more information about either of the support groups above, please email or call Aimee Muth, LCSW firstname.lastname@example.org or (917) 596-0090.
Liver Connection is a quarterly newsletter that contains articles on all aspects of life before and after liver transplantation.
You can also learn more about liver disease and surgery on the following pages: