A living-donor transplantation involves the removal of a portion of the donor’s healthy liver for transplantation into a recipient in need. Anyone may volunteer to donate a portion of their healthy liver. The liver has unique ability to regenerate. After transplantation, the partial liver of both the donor and the recipient will grow and remodel to form a complete organ.
A live liver transplant is more desirable than a cadaveric liver because there is an improved survival rate for the adult transplant recipient. Also, the wait should be reduced in that the donor is available now. The survival rate is also improved because of the optimal timing of the transplant. Living donors are healthy and in good physical condition. A living donor is carefully evaluated to ensure they have an optimal liver for the recipient. Living donor livers are immediately transplanted. The short cold time is believed to also be an important in the outcome of the transplant.
The first successful liver transplant occurred in 1967. In 1984 congress passed The National Organ Transplant Act passed establishing the framework for a national system of organ transplantation.
Nationally, nearly 17,000 individuals wait for liver transplantation, while only 6,700 deceased donor organs become available yearly. Living donor transplants are planned. Once a match is identified the operation is scheduled to insure the most successful outcome.