Can You Donate Your Liver More Than Once

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Living Donor Liver Transplant

Can You Keep Donating and Regrowing Your Liver?

A small percentage of liver transplants are completed each year using a portion of a healthy liver from a living donor. Living donation is possible because the liver is the only organ that can regenerate itself. An adult may be able to donate a portion of their liver to a child or another adult. The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center notes that adult-to-child living-donor liver transplants have helped diminish waiting list deaths, giving a second chance at life to children in need of transplant.

Since the number of patients waiting for a donor liver surpasses the number of deceased donors, living liver donation much like living kidney donation provides an alternative to waiting for a deceased donor organ to become available. Receiving a transplant sooner may help a patient avoid additional health complications that may occur while waiting.

A living donors liver fully regrows within 4 months and will ultimately regain full function. The donated portion does the same for the recipient. A liver from a deceased donor may also be split and transplanted into 2 recipients.

Could I Be A Living Liver Donor For Someone

As long as you and your liver are in good health, you could be a living donor. But not necessarily for the person you know. For your liver to be a match with a transplant recipient, you have to share a compatible blood type and body size. Your body size determines the size of your liver, and size is important for the liver to work well. When you give part of your liver to another adult, it will grow back to the same size.

Children are the exception to this rule. Adults can be living donors for children regardless of liver size, because a childs body is still growing. Somehow, the liver knows how to grow along with the childs body. It only takes a sliver of your liver about 15% to 20% to replace a childs liver, as long as your blood type is compatible.

What Is Organ And Tissue Donation

Organ donation is a surgery in which a healthy organ from one person is put into the body of a person whose organ has failed. In organ donation, the donor may be living or deceased.

Tissue donation is when tissues such as skin or bone are taken from one person and put into the body of a person who needs it. In tissue donation the donor is usually deceased, but there are a few tissues you can donate while still alive such as blood or bone marrow.

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What Parts Of The Liver Are Needed For Liver Donation

It is important to note that living liver donation has a higher complication rate when compared to living kidney donation and a longer recovery time is expected . On the other hand, liver transplantation, including live donation, has become more and more common and surgical techniques have significantly advanced over the past ten years.

Con: Recipients Need Meds For Life

Two liver transplant donors  one living, one deceased  save a young ...

Whether your liver comes from a living donor or not, it will be a big boost to your health. But your new liver is also a stranger to your body. You’ll have to take drugs that keep your immune system — your body’s defense against germs — from treating the new liver as an invader that needs to be attacked. These medications sometimes come with side effects, like high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol.

Part of your routine after surgery will be to meet with health experts who can teach you how to go on the offense with your health. “You’ll be counseled on lifestyle changes that are personalized to your needs, including things like dietary changes,” Te says.

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Pro: Livers Grow Back

If you’re going to be a donor, you may worry that removing part of your liver will hurt your health. But you can lose up to 75% of it, and it will grow back to its original size quickly — and work just fine when it does.

“The liver regenerates almost immediately after surgery, and will have reached its near normal size by 6-8 weeks or so,” says Helen S. Te, MD, medical director of the Adult Liver Transplant Program at the University of Chicago Medical Center. Livers are the only organ that can do this, and it’s what makes living-donor transplants possible.

What Are The Criteria To Donate To A Specific Person

To be a match with a specific liver transplant recipient, you have to have a compatible blood type with theirs. Some blood types can only mix with the same blood type. Some can mix with certain other types, and some can mix with any other type. You can match your blood type with the recipients blood type in the chart below:

Recipient Blood Type
AB A, B, AB or O

When your blood type does not match with your recipient, you can participate in the Liver Paired Exchange program. This program was established to increase the opportunity for potential living liver donors who are approved to be liver donors but cannot donate their liver to their original intended recipient for various reasons. The program involves two incompatible pairs, which become compatible pairs by swapping.

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You Can’t Donate Part Of Your Liver More Than Once Apparently

As some of you may know, when someone donates part of their liver, the other part grows back to its original size within a year. If like me you were wondering whether the regenerated part can be donated again, it can’t. I found this a very interesting watch.

Hi KLDN,

Thank you for this video. I was unaware that once cut the liver could not be donated again.

Again, thank you.

Thamk you the info, so nice of you to share it with us . Take care Lynne

Someone’s got to ask the big questions in life

Oh how im glad im.not the only one who lies in bed with insomnia having similar thoughts. .. lol.

Thanks for sharing the post KLND,

what i don’t understand is how do they attach part of the donor liver? And is it only certain people who can receive these types of transplants..say like myself. 10 yrs with cirrhosis now, compensated, feel relatively well apart from certain affects of liver disease. On no transplant list as yet. . If one of my family wanted to donate part of their own liver to me , would this be feasible? Or because im full blown cirrhotic chronic liver disease i would need a full transplant if ever i needed one. ..

I have no idea what the answers to any of your questions are Linda. I’m guessing you could still receive a live donor liver seeing that both the remaining and donated part grow back to full size. Whether you’re eligible or that’s feasible, it’s for a transplant team to decide.

How Do I Volunteer As A Living Liver Donor Candidate

Becoming a Living Liver Donor: Evaluation, Risks, and Recovery

Step 1: Call the transplant office. To begin the evaluation process, call the living donor office at the hospital. A coordinator will speak with you to gather some general information and answer your initial questions. They may give you a form to fill out or may interview you by phone. If they believe you are a candidate, they will arrange for you to continue the evaluation process in person.

Step 2: Come to the hospital for medical tests and interviews. The next stage of the process involves several days of evaluations. Youll take a variety of medical tests and meet with a variety of specialists. Tests may include, but are not limited to:

  • Cardiac tests, such as an EKG and cardiac echo.
  • Imaging tests of your liver, such as CT scan and MRI.
  • Liver biopsy if the transplant provider feels it necessary.

You will also consult with a:

  • Anesthesiologist.

Step 3: Await the decision of the review teams. A sequence of transplant teams will review the results of your evaluations. First, the donor advocacy team will review the results independently. Their primary concern is your safety as a donor. Based on the results, they will make a recommendation to the liver transplant selection committee. The liver transplant selection committee will make the final decision.

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After Donating Your Liver

Every surgery comes with risks. In very rare cases, liver failure can occur. Your transplant care team will review all possible complications in detail prior to surgery.

As a liver donor you may experience:

  • Walk several times a day
  • Limit lifting for the first several weeks
  • Slowly return to your normal activities
  • Visit your transplant team for routine follow-up visits and lab tests to monitor your recovery

Surgeons remove about half of your liver during a living liver donation. The liver grows back to its full size in about three months.

What Are The Requirements To Be A Donor

If you want to be a donor, your liver, kidneys, and thyroid need to be working right. Transplant centers also want to know that you don’t have medical problems like these: 1 Liver disease, including hepatitis 2 Diabetes 3 Heart, kidney, or lung disease 4 Gastrointestinal disease, autoimmune disorders, neurologic disease, and certain blood disorders 5 HIV/AIDS 6 Cancer 7 High blood pressure that’s not under control 8 Current or long-term infections, including hepatitis C 9 Use of alcohol or recreational drugs, including marijuana

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How Long Does It Take To Recover From A Live Liver Transplant

It is important to note that living liver donation has a higher complication rate when compared to living kidney donation and a longer recovery time is expected . On the other hand, liver transplantation, including live donation, has become more and more common and surgical techniques have significantly advanced over the past ten years.

Can You Get A Liver Transplant From A Living Donor

7th Liver Flush On CureZone Image Gallery

There are many benefits of receiving a liver from a living donor: No waiting period. Surgeries can be scheduled at a convenient time for both the donor and the recipient. A liver from a living donor typically lasts longer than a liver from a deceased donor. A living liver transplant can be scheduled electively and before the onset …

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Time Commitment And Personal Risk

Donating a portion of your liver is an invasive surgery. It takes time and effort to recover. The pre-transplant evaluation is a necessary process that takes you away from other activities. Your hospital stay lasts from four to seven days, but you may not be able to return to work or school for six to 10 weeks after hospital discharge.

What Is Liver Transplant Surgery

Surgery. In living liver donor surgery, the donor and the recipient are placed in side-by-side operating rooms. A surgeon removes a part of the donors liver, typically the right half. This donated segment of the liver is then immediately placed in the recipient in the next operating room. Many liver transplant surgeries are done laparoscopically, …

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Is It Rare To Donate A Liver

Live liver donations remain rare: Living liver donation was first attempted in children in the late 1980s. Adult transplants initially took place a decade later, Sonnenday says. Today, they account for only about 5 percent of total liver transplants. Thats partially because the surgery can frighten or disqualify some donors and there are limited surgeons and centers with robust expertise. The latter is changing, as shown by the Michigan Medicine/Columbia partnership.

Who Pays For The Medical Expenses Of The Living Liver Donor

What Does Your Liver Do?

Typically, the recipients insurance covers them. Medical expenses include all of the pre-transplant evaluation and testing, transplant surgery and follow-up appointments. They dont include incidental costs, such as travel, childcare or lost wages. The transplant recipient may offer to pay for these expenses. Charities, such as the National Living Donor Assistance Center , may also be able to help.

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Con: You Could Have Complications

“The donor can medical complications such as bleeding, bile leaks, infections, or blood clots,” Te says.

You could also get a hernia when you’re a donor. And it’s rare, but the part of your liver that’s left after you donate could stop working, which can be life-threatening.

If you receive a new liver, there’s a risk you could get a narrowed bile duct, which a doctor would have to treat later.

What Is A Living Liver Donor

Living liver donors donate part of their liver to someone with liver failure. Liver failure may be caused by a number of conditions, including liver cancer, hepatitis or cirrhosis.

Donating part of your liver is possible because the liver unlike other organs has the remarkable ability to regenerate. If you donate part of your liver, the rest grows back to most of its original size within weeks. It then continues to grow slowly to reach its full size over the next year.

You can give this lifesaving gift to a relative, a friend or even a stranger. Thousands of people in the United States are waiting for a liver from a deceased donor but patients with a living donor have a much shorter wait time and a better chance for a successful liver transplant.

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Actual Graft Size Versus Functional Graft Size

In determining whether a donor can provide adequate liver mass with a left or right lobe, it is important to know not just the graft volume but the variables that can reduce its actual functional capacity. 21 Much has been written about the graft size necessary to avoid early graft dysfunction and small-for-size syndrome. 10,22 The generally accepted safe minimum is 40% to 50% of the recipients normal liver volume, also expressed as a ratio between graft size and recipient size . Early in our adult experience, when we relied solely on left lobe grafts, we found that in patients with little or no portal hypertension and stable disease, grafts with actual sizes less than 40% provided adequate functional mass. However, when grafts less than 40% were used in less stable patients with hyperdynamic portal flow, the grafts swelled and could not sustain life. 22,23 Clearly, the relationship between actual and functional size was affected by disease severity and portal hemodynamics.

Pro: You Have More Control Over The Process

Human Organ For Transplantation Design Flat stock vector art 534324286 ...

Most living-donor transplants happen between family members or close friends. If you know someone who is willing and able to give you part of their liver, you may be able to get a transplant more quickly than you would if you have to wait until a liver becomes available from a donor who has died. That often means you get your surgery done before you get extremely sick from your liver disease.

Getting a new liver from someone you know also gives you more say over when you schedule your surgery. You and your donor will have a chance to figure out when an operation fits best into both of your lives.

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How Long Does It Take To Recover From A Liver Transplant

If you’re a liver donor, it also takes time to recover. “Donors are hospitalized for about a week after the surgery and may take about 2 to 3 months to fully recover,” Te says. Whether you’re a donor or the person getting the liver, you’ll need to avoid alcohol, recreational drugs, and contact sports after the transplant.

How Can I Sign Up To Be An Organ And Tissue Donor

Signing up as an organ donor is easy! There are four ways to sign up:

  • Sign up via the National Donate Life Registry.
  • Sign up online in your state. You may need your driver’s license/ID number to fill out a form.
  • Visit your state or local motor vehicle office .
  • If you have an iPhone, sign up through the Health app on your phone. Once you sign up, your information is sent to a national computer system.

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You Can Still Have A Baby

Are you hoping to have children in the future? Donating a part of your liver wont make it harder for you to get pregnant or deliver a baby. Living donation doesnt cause fertility problems for women or men. Still, women should wait one year after their donation surgery before they get pregnant. This gives your body the time it needs to heal.

A Need For Donors Of Color

Liver Transplant – What to Expect Video

More than half of all people on the transplant waiting list in the U.S. are people of color, yet only about 30% of organ donors are people of color. This includes people who identify as African American, Asian American, Pacific Islander, Native American and Hispanic.

Organs are not matched by race or ethnicity, but people needing an organ transplant will have a better chance of getting one if there are more donors from their racial or ethnic backgrounds. This is because people of the same race or ethnicity are more likely to have compatible blood types and tissue markers. So, the more diverse the donors are, the more people who need a transplant can get one.

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