Saturday, January 2, 2010

Live Liver Donors

There are more then 17,500 patients waiting to receive a liver.
Over 6,000 patients are transplanted each year
Over 1,700 patients die each ear waiting for a liver.

  • Transplant can be done before liver failure gets worse or becomes fatal
  • Less time for a liver
  • Quality of donated liver may be better due to medical evaluation of donor

  • Most donors recover fully after the operation and can do normal activities within a few months after surgery. However as with any major surgery, there are risks!
  • There is a 10 to 20% chance that the donor could have a complication (The most common is itching around the incision)
  • The estimated risk of dying from the transplant surgery of about 1 in 500.
  • Some of the complications involve bleeding, infection, bile leaks, or damage to the bile ducts.
  • You could have a reaction to the anesthetic or get pneumonia or blood clots in the legs.
  • Your liver recipiant will be wearing a cheesy shirt with a huge picture of you on it everyday after. hehe (this one isn't so bad)
  • The donors liver is split into two parts. One part is removed for the transplant. The surgeon then closes the wound with sutures (which are later removed)
  • The remaining part of the donors liver will begin to heal and grow new tissue.
  • The donors liver will grow back to normal size within 6 to 8 weeks.
  • The donor typically stays in the hospital 4 to 7 days after the surgery.
  • For the most part it takes approx. 4 weeks to recover from surgery
  • Most people return to work approx 8 weeks after surgery.
(The donors insurance will pay for all of pre and post transplant hospital costs)

There is so much more information and details available at the UNOS website. Check it out at

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