Types of liver rejection that may occur

Hyperacute rejection
(immediately following surgery)
Acute rejection
(first 6 weeks to a year after surgery)
Chronic rejection
(may last months to years)
When Occurs rarely, either during or right after surgery. Complete, immediate organ failure results Usually within the first 6 weeks to a year after transplant, but can occur as early as 7 to 10 days after transplant. Sometimes it can happen without early warning symptoms any time after transplant Usually happens slowly and can occur for months or years. In chronic rejection, the organ will eventually stop working
Prevention measures Usually prevented by careful organ crossmatching Take prescribed medicines exactly as directed, and make sure you attend every scheduled doctor visit and test appointment Take prescribed medicines exactly as directed. You may help prevent chronic rejection by getting treatment for early symptoms of acute rejection. Check yourself carefully as directed by your transplant team

Possible signs and symptoms of liver rejection may include:

  • Temperature of 100.5°F or higher, even if it goes away
  • Yellow skin or eyes
  • Stomach pain or tenderness
  • Fluid in the stomach or surrounding area (ascites, pronounced “ah-sie-teez”)
  • Nausea
  • Tea-colored urine
  • Itching
  • Weight gain
  • Swelling
  • Tiredness
  • Headache

Types of liver rejection according to Medscape, www.medscape.com/viewarticle/451209_13, accessed October 14, 2014.
Possible signs and symptoms of liver rejection according to the John Hopkins Medicine Health Library, www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/test_procedures
/gastroenterology/liver_transplantation_procedure_92,P07698/
; and the United Network for Organ Sharing, www.transplantliving.org/after-the-transplant/staying-healthy/preventing-rejection/; both accessed October 14, 2014.

It is important that you call your transplant team if you have any of these, or any other unusual symptoms. It’s possible for rejection to occur without any symptoms. Liver rejection may be detected with lab tests, and so you should try not to miss any of your appointments.