Liver transplantation has become an effective and valuable option for patients with end-stage liver disease and hepatocellular carcinoma. Liver failure, an acute or chronic condition, results in impaired bile production and excretion, clotting factor production, protein synthesis, and regulation of metabolism and glucose. Some acute conditions of liver disease have the potential to recover if the liver heals on its own. However, chronic conditions, such as cirrhosis, often lead to irreversible disease and require liver transplantation. In this publication, we review the pathophysiology of liver failure, examine common conditions that ultimately lead to liver transplantation, and discuss the postoperative management of patients who are either hemodynamically stable (type A) or unstable (type B).