Many factors can impact the waiting time for a liver transplant, including the patient’s blood type, body size, stage of liver disease, overall health and the availability of a matching liver.
At Sharp Coronado Hospital, a highly skilled staff — including liver specialists and other physicians, nurses, registered dietitians and rehabilitation therapists — provides an extraordinary level of care to individuals with chronic liver disease to help improve their quality of life.
Led by medical director Dr. Tarek Hassanein, a world-renowned Sharp-affiliated hepatologist and gastroenterologist, Sharp Coronado became the only hospital in San Diego County and one of only a few in California to offer liver treatment through the molecular adsorbent recirculating system (MARS).
The MARS machine helps patients with certain types of liver problems stabilize their condition long enough to receive a liver transplant, or in some cases, allows the liver enough time to regenerate itself, eliminating the need for a transplant. Patients with liver disease or liver failure cannot clear the toxins from their systems, so the MARS machine does the work for them. The machine draws blood from the patient and "washes" it, allowing toxins to be eliminated from the body.
Patients undergoing care have access to the Sewall Healthy Living Center at Sharp Coronado Hospital, an exercise and wellness facility that combines integrative therapies, such as massage and acupuncture, with nutritional counseling.
"People with end-stage liver disease who are admitted to Sharp Coronado are often malnourished," said Carolyn Mitchell, a registered dietitian nutritionist at Sharp Coronado Hospital. "We meet with our patients to help create healthy eating plans that work with their lifestyles."
"Other hospitals send their patients to us, and it becomes our goal to save them," Dr. Hassanein said. "There is a special level of commitment from the members of our team at Sharp Coronado that you won’t find anywhere else."
||About the Expert
Dr. Tarek Hassanein is a world-renowned hepatologist and gastroenterologist offering liver treatment through the molecular adsorbent recirculating system (MARS).
For More Liver Care Information
To learn more, visit Liver Care at Sharp Coronado Hospital or Liver Disorders in the health library. To find a Sharp Coronado-affiliated gastroenterologist call 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277), Monday through Friday, 8 am to 6 pm.