The numbers are staggering. Although more than 15,000 Americans are on the waiting list for a liver transplant, only 5,000 deceased donor livers are available for transplant each year. That means only one third of those on the waiting list get a liver. But there is hope for patients on the waiting list.
Living-donor liver transplant is a life-saving procedure that gives hope to adults and children waiting for a liver transplant. UPMC, located in Pittsburgh, PA, is a leader in the field of transplantation and is one of the largest and most experienced transplant centers to offer living-donor liver transplantation. Living-donor liver transplants offer many life-saving advantages for both the donor and the recipient.
- Little or no wait time. With a liver readily available for transplant, donors and recipients can schedule surgery at a time that's convenient for both people.
- Quicker recovery time. Both the recipient and donor often return to their normal, active lives within weeks to months following living-donor transplant.
- Improved long-term outcomes. Because the donor's liver is functioning up until the time of transplant, the recipient can benefit from improved long-term outcomes and a quicker recovery.
Living Donor Benefits
- Huge impact on someone's life. Donors can feel good knowing they're saving another person's life with this meaningful gift.
- Removes a candidate from the national waiting list. This reduces the competition for the limited amount of deceased-donor livers available for transplantation.
Life-saving transplants would not be possible without selfless donors. With a living-donor liver transplant, a donor can give a portion of his or her liver, and it will regenerate, or grow back, in months.
To be a living donor, a person must:
- Be between the ages of 18 and 55
- Be in good general health and have no history of:
- Liver disease, including cirrhosis and hepatitis B or C
- Heart disease
- HIV infection
- Other diseases that could complicate the surgery, including some cancers and obesity
- Have an unselfish desire to contribute to another person's life in a healthy way
Learn more about living-donor transplants at UPMC.