A liver transplant is a surgical procedure done in some patients with liver failure to replace their diseased liver with a healthy liver. When a patient receives a liver transplant, his or her entire liver is removed. It is then replaced by a portion of the donor’s healthy liver.
In living liver donor surgery, the donor and the recipient are placed in side-by-side operating rooms. A surgeon removes a part of the donor’s liver, typically the right half. This donated segment of the liver is then immediately placed in the recipient in the next operating room.
The remaining part of the donor’s liver is sufficient to maintain normal body functions. The recipient also receives a large enough segment of the donor liver to maintain body functions.
During approximately the next two months, the remaining and transplanted parts of the donor liver grow to normal size, providing normal long-term liver function for the donor and the recipient.
There are many benefits of receiving a liver from a living donor:
- No waiting period
- Surgeries can be scheduled at a convenient time for both the donor and the recipient
- A liver from a living donor typically lasts longer than a liver from a deceased donor
- A living liver transplant can be scheduled electively and before the onset of life-threatening complications while waiting for a liver from a deceased donor
- 139,999 liver transplants from 1988 through 2015
- 14,794 currently on waiting list for a liver transplant; 121,302 currently on the waiting list total
- Due to the organ shortage, over 6,000 precious lives are lost just in America each year. Over 1,400 of these deaths are those waiting on a liver transplant.
- In 2015, 359 liver transplants were made possible by living donors
- Facts about Transplant and Living Donation