Blog: What is a living donor liver transplant?
by lyfboat

What is a living donor liver transplant?

Living-donor transplantation is a medical procedure in which a portion of liver is taken from a healthy and transplanted in the recipient with diseased liver.

Date:   5/23/2019 7:08:58 AM   ( 30 mon ) ... viewed 204 times

Living-donor transplantation is a medical procedure in which a portion of liver is taken from a healthy and transplanted in the recipient with diseased liver. The remaining part of the liver in the donor regenerates and grows back to full size while the donated part in the recipient grows to become a fully functional organ.

The liver has an ability to regenerate and the technological advancement in the medical field has made the liver transplantation procedure to be a huge success.

Who can be the donor?

The criteria for being a donor includes:

  • Good health status
  • Between the age of 20 to 60
  • Blood-type compatibility with the recipient to avoid rejection
  • Will to donate and follow the restrictions and protocols of the procedure
  • Have not been smoking for at least four to six weeks before surgery

A donor does not necessarily have to be a family member or a blood relative, a healthy person fulfilling the criteria and having a good match is as good. A donor evaluation test is performed for both the recipient and donor to check the compatibility. The evaluation involves blood typing test and other test to check the overall health status including imaging tests like Chest X-ray/MRI, Electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG), abdominal ultrasound, etc. 

Why is it needed?

There are certain advantages with Living-donor liver transplant that makes it more desirable. The demand for liver donation for patients with damaged liver exceeds the availability of deceased donors. A number of patients are unable to survive the long waiting time for a transplant organ. Liver from a living-donor can help meet the demand of the recipients waiting for a donor. The reduced also contributes to improved survival rates and the complications associated with waiting for long time can be avoided. Also, the immediate transfer of liver portion has better success rate due to the quality of the liver and the transplantation is planned in advance depending on the recipient’s situation, i.e. before it becomes life-threatening. The living-donor liver transplantation has excellent success rate in children. 

How is it done?

The donor is given an anaesthetic before the surgery, in which the surgeon splits the donor’s liver in two segments. One part is taken out to be transferred into the recipient and the other part remains in the donor which regrows to full size in around 6-8 weeks. The donor is discharged in about a week after the operation and it takes one month to recover from the surgery and requires regular follow-ups with the doctor. 

The cost of living-donor liver transplantation on the donor side is covered at times by the insurance company.

What are the risk associated with donating?

Surgery related risks are always there but there are rarely any cases in which a corrective surgery is needed after the donation. Usually, the donor gains back health after a few months and recover completely to resume normal activities. However, removing a part of liver is no small procedure and there are certain risks involved, like:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Bile leaks, or damage to the bile tree

Top Liver Transplant Hospitals –

  • Max Super Specialty Hospital
  • Indraprastha Apollo
  • Medanta – The Medicity
  • BLK Hospital
  • Artemis Hospital
  • FMRI 

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