Living Donation

After Living-Donor Liver Transplant Surgery

Life After Living Liver Donation: The Recovery Process

Every person recovers from surgery at a different pace.

The liver transplant team at UPMC will work with you to provide a personalized treatment plan that meets your needs after liver donation surgery.

What Is the Recovery Time for a Liver Donor?

Typical liver donors are able to return to an independent life of showering, getting dressed, and doing other simple daily activities when they arrive home after discharge. This is usually one week after surgery.

If you live far from UPMC Montefiore hospital, we may ask you to stay for a few more days at a nearby hotel.

What Can I Expect After Living-Donor Liver Surgery?

While in the liver donation recovery process, you will need to:

  • Ask someone to handle strenuous household duties and child care.
  • Remain hydrated.
  • Consume a healthy, balanced diet to heal and prevent constipation.

While you're recovering at home, your transplant team will schedule follow-up appointments to monitor your health and recovery.

You will need to return to UPMC Montefiore for clinic visits at the following times after your liver donor surgery:

  • The first and fourth week
  • Three months
  • Six months
  • One year
  • Two years

If you cannot return to our transplant clinic in Pittsburgh, you should visit your primary care physician for the physical exam.

The transplant team is happy to address any questions or concerns you may have about your surgery. However, you should talk to your primary care physician about any other issues unrelated to your surgery.

It's important to continue to maintain your health and relationship with your primary care physician, and to have routine yearly physical exams.

How Long Does It Take for a Liver to Regenerate After Donation?

In a few months after surgery, your liver will regenerate back to its full size, and return to your pre-donation level of health. The other person’s new liver will grow to full size as well, leaving both people with healthy, functioning livers.