Psychosocial Resources for Transplant Patients

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 Psychosocial 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.

Before Surgery

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.

After Surgery

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.

Educational Workshops and Support Groups

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. 

Workshops

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
  • Nutrition
  • Physical Therapy
  • Psychological Healing
  • Post-Transplant Complications

Download a schedule of upcoming workshops at the following hospitals:

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. 

  • When: 10 to 11:30 a.m. on the first and third Thursday of each month
  • Where: Room 213 in the Milstein Hospital Building at the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital

Get directions or call (212) 305-1884 for more information.

Resources

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: