Does age matter for liver transplant evaluation?

Posted by bibiliverbug @bibiliverbug, Feb 2 2:47pm

what about age in evaluation for liver transplant?

Hi @bibiliverbug, welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. Are you referring to age with respect to becoming a liver transplant recipient or regarding eligibility to be a liver donor?

Liked by Lisa Lucier

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Recipient, isn't there a clear and transparent evaluation regarding the age of recipient in the score for eligibility. Perhaps is heavy element for the decisions of transplant teams that they can't often speak about

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@bibiliverbug, I am liver and kidney recipient, and I also want to say welcome. Eligibility to be listed for a transplant depends on several factors, one is age because as we age, our bodies become frail, and we often experience more medical issues. I received my transplants at age 60. The Mayo Newsfeed newsfeed that I am sharing reads that there is no official cutoff for transplant at Mayo. It depends on many other factors which will be discussed during the referral and evaluation process. The evaluation process is important to assure the best possible outcome for the patient.

Eligibility for Liver or Kidney Transplant will provide information about the other eligibility criteria.
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/page/transplant/newsfeed-post/eligibility-for-liver-or-kidney-transplant/
-and-
According to the UNOS Network > Transplant Living > Before the transplant > Frequently asked questions
"There is no standard age limit to be transplanted. Each transplant program sets its own practice. For example, one program may not accept anyone older than 80 years of age; another may have no age limit. A few medical conditions might rule out a transplant. The transplant team will discuss these with you when you start your evaluation."
https://transplantliving.org/before-the-transplant/frequently-asked-questions/
@bibiliverbug, Has your medical team determined that you will need to be referred for an evaluation?

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I read that post and I'm wondering if there are a forty year old and a seventy year old with the same clinical conditions who to choose as recipient? I don't think the average life has lengthened, I think old age has lengthened

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I am not referring to listing but to the position for the surgical operation. I am reflecting with you on the ability of transplant teams to make younger patients top of the list and whether this is acceptable and desirable

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@bibiliverbug

I read that post and I'm wondering if there are a forty year old and a seventy year old with the same clinical conditions who to choose as recipient? I don't think the average life has lengthened, I think old age has lengthened

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@bibiliverbug I too welcome you to Connect.
My transplant hospital was Mass General in Boston, and similar to what @rosemarya said about Mayo, I do not believe there is a specific age cut-off, it depends on the health of the patient. Some people are healthier at 75 than others are at 55.
I too wondered if a younger patient would take priority over me, I was 2 days short of 69 when I received my transplant. I don’t think that was actually a consideration. I was simply the sickest candidate who matched the donor the best.
JK

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@bibiliverbug – You raise an interesting question about a fourty year old vs a seventy year old priority for a transplanted organ. I don't know how often, in reality that is a factor, due to all of the match criteria and the commitment to provide the best possible outcome for each patient.

The bottom line is that there are simply not enough organs for everybody who needs one. Here is an interesting infographic that I saw yesterday in Health Highlights by Mayo Clinic.
-Finding the best use of imperfect donated organs increases hope.
https://mayohealthhighlights.startribune.com/
I wonder if this will help to resolve the age related issue that you have presented. What are your thoughts?

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I just turned 75 when I got mine last year. It was a 70 year old liver. I don't know if that made any difference.

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@bobbayers

I just turned 75 when I got mine last year. It was a 70 year old liver. I don't know if that made any difference.

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Hi @bobbayers, welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect and the Transplants support group. How are you and your younger liver doing one year post transplant?

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@bobbayers

I just turned 75 when I got mine last year. It was a 70 year old liver. I don't know if that made any difference.

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Welcome, @bobbayers to Connect. That's wonderful that you were able to get a liver at that age, I am sure that will give hope to many who wonder if they will be able to. Your transplant center sounds very progressive to do that, I have heard that some have an arbitrary cut-off date based on age which is sort of crazy I think since many people in their 70s are in such good health.
I was about to turn 69 when I had my transplant. My new liver was 34 at the time. It's quite rare that a liver will be re-transplanted but I have heard it is done occasionally. I would hope it would be when I die, it would be a shame for a beautiful liver to go to waste.
JK

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@rosemarya

@bibiliverbug, I am liver and kidney recipient, and I also want to say welcome. Eligibility to be listed for a transplant depends on several factors, one is age because as we age, our bodies become frail, and we often experience more medical issues. I received my transplants at age 60. The Mayo Newsfeed newsfeed that I am sharing reads that there is no official cutoff for transplant at Mayo. It depends on many other factors which will be discussed during the referral and evaluation process. The evaluation process is important to assure the best possible outcome for the patient.

Eligibility for Liver or Kidney Transplant will provide information about the other eligibility criteria.
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/page/transplant/newsfeed-post/eligibility-for-liver-or-kidney-transplant/
-and-
According to the UNOS Network > Transplant Living > Before the transplant > Frequently asked questions
"There is no standard age limit to be transplanted. Each transplant program sets its own practice. For example, one program may not accept anyone older than 80 years of age; another may have no age limit. A few medical conditions might rule out a transplant. The transplant team will discuss these with you when you start your evaluation."
https://transplantliving.org/before-the-transplant/frequently-asked-questions/
@bibiliverbug, Has your medical team determined that you will need to be referred for an evaluation?

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I had my liver transplant in 1960 also.
In my exit interview, after my 2019 checkup, in Jacksonville, the nurse told me that I should not expect to get another transplant if anything happened. I do not expect to get another and grateful for mine. The age of 80 seems fair for a cutoff (there may be a rare circunstance) to let the younger, more healthy individual have a chance.

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@bobbayers I think implanting a 70-year-old liver is like replacing a punctured wheel with one repaired with chewing-gum

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You can say that about any medical procedure at any age. That is why Mayo, and other medical organizations, do a complete workup and evaluation instead of just thinking.

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Science and physiology suggest that human organs undergo natural degradation. It is not my strange thought

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@bibiliverbug

Science and physiology suggest that human organs undergo natural degradation. It is not my strange thought

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I believe that providing hope and healing through medicine is appropriate for all ages, genders, ethnicities.

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