British Liver Trust
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Liver transplant and HCC

Hello All, my parents are based in Abroad, my Mom has had a diagnosis of Hepatocellular carcinoma and has been advised that will need a transplant . They have health insurance that will cover them almost anywhere. I have been told that the waiting time is 18 months in the UK as she is O neg ( I am based here) . Obviously it's scary as she currently has a potentially curative stage but a lot can change in 18 months. Given they could go elsewhere is it likely to be different in other countries /settings. Thanks for your thoughts .

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If your parents are not UK residents there might be difficulty accessing a liver transplant here as you need to be resident. Liver transplants in the UK are only via the NHS and are not generally available privately (or via Health Insurance). There was quite a scandal a few years ago where it was revealed that foreign patients who could pay for transplants were 'jumping the queue' - allegedly private transplants can still happen but only if the liver is not suitable for anyone on the NHS waiting list or European waiting list.

What country is you mum in? & what is the transplant situation like there?

We did have a poster recently who was a GB citizen but had lived abroad for some years, when she checked with Kings in London about transplant she was told that as she hadn't been resident here and contributing to UK National Insurance she wouldn't be eligible for listing here.

You could check the situation with one of the UK centres but be prepared for possible disappointment re. UK liver transplant listing.



Hi Katie - thanks for response their work has taken them abroad( initially born &resident in U.K. for many years paying taxes etc) and planning to retire back to the U.K. this year prior to diagnosis. Obviously at the point they return (which looks now sooner than planned they would be become resident again) obviously NHS list are prioritized for NHs patients appropriately so. It may be that they have an opportunity to choose which country to seek treatment in and given the HCC diagnose that is currently potentially treatable the sooner the better. I just wondered if anyone had any thoughts/experience about out of U.K. Choices. They are currently based in a small country in Africa with no facilities for liver transplant surgery. ( also looking at live liver donor options too, all a little bit scary)


I think a lot of people in Africa go to India for liver transplant which is obviously a paid for system and not as scarily basic as it sounds.

Perhaps your folks should get in touch with a UK transplant centre just to sound them out but if they haven't been resident here for some time they may find they get the same answer as the poster I mentioned who I believe lives in Madagascar and was hoping to be transplanted here but was told no.


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