Living Liver Donation

The popularity of living-organ donation has increased dramatically in recent years as an alternative to deceased-organ donation due to the growing need for organs for transplantation and shortage of available deceased-donor organs.

Liver donation is possible from a living donor who is a close (First or second degree) relative of the recipient. The donor operation is entirely safe and the donated part of the liver regenerates within 6-8 weeks in both the donor and the recipient. In the first few days after operation even when regeneration is not complete, the half liver is enough to maintain normal donor functions due to the immense reserve in the liver.

Live donor Criteria

  • Compatible blood group with the recipient
  • The person must be a Family member (wife, husband, mother, father, son, daughter) or close relative (First or Second degree) of the recipient.
  • The person must donate of his/her own free will.
  • The person should be between 18-55 years of age.
  • The liver that is to be transplanted must be enough in size & volume for the recipient.
  • Donor should be in good overall physical and mental health, undergo a thorough medical and psychological evaluation, fully understand the risks of surgery and only then volunteer for donation.
  • Donor should not be pregnant.

Compatibility of Blood Groups

Donor Blood Group O A B AB
Recipient Blood Group O,A,B or AB A or AB B or AB AB

Some interesting facts about Liver Donation Surgery

  • Liver cutting (Resection) uses modern techniques & instruments such as CUSA & Hydrojet thus making it safe and blood less.
  • Normal liver has immense reserve a healthy person require only 30% of the total available liver volume for day-to-day functioning.
  • Normal liver grows back very quickly - it starts regenerating within 12 hours of surgery & the total process gets completed within 6-8 weeks.

What happens during donor surgery?

For a full right lobe and left lobe donation, the gallbladder is removed. The donor's liver is carefully split into two segments and one portion is removed for the recipient. The surgeon then closes the incision with self-absorbing sutures. The liver immediately begins to heal and regenerate itself, generally taking six to eight weeks for full regeneration

How long does the donor remain hospitalized?

Typically, a donor remains in the hospital for four to seven days after surgery. Donors spend their first night after surgery in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU) for close monitoring. The following day, they are usually transferred to the general surgical floor where the nurses are specifically experienced in caring for liver donors. Donors are encouraged to get out of bed and sit in a chair the day following surgery, and to walk the corridors as soon as they are able.