Living Donor Liver Transplantation
What is living-donor liver transplantation?
Living-donor transplantation is surgery in which a portion of a donor's healthy liver is removed and then transplanted into a patient with end-stage liver disease. During the transplant, either the right lobe or the left lobe of the donor's liver is removed from the donor and implanted in the recipient. The portion of the donor liver selected depends on the size of the donor and recipient and the blood supply to the liver. Both segments (the remaining section of the donor's liver, and the portion received by the patient) will regenerate and grow to fit the needs of each individual.
This procedure is made possible by the liver's unique ability to regenerate. After transplantation, the partial livers of both the donor and recipient will grow and remodel to form complete organs.
The living donor may be an adult not directly related to the recipient, or a family member. The donor is carefully evaluated by the transplant team to ensure the donation would harm neither donor nor recipient.