Explore UPMC.com
Living Donation

Living-Donor Liver Transplant Benefits and Risks

Advances in surgery and care now allow people to donate a portion of their liver to help someone in dire need of transplant.

Our transplant team will discuss, in detail, the benefits and risks of living-liver donation during your pre-donation evaluation.

If — at any time — you feel uneasy, we'll stop the process.

Benefits of Living-Donor Liver Transplant

  • Living-donor transplant helps save the lives of people with end-stage liver disease. And it increases the number of livers for people on the transplant waiting list.
  • Liver donors can feel good knowing that they've had a huge impact on another person’s life.
  • Liver donors and transplant recipients can schedule surgery at a time that works for both people.
  • Flexible scheduling allows the transplant to occur sooner. This can save valuable time spent on the liver transplant waitlist and reduce the risk of the liver disease from getting worse.
  • Because they are receiving a portion for a healthy donor's liver, recipients have improved long-term outcomes and quicker recovery times.

Risks of Living-Donor Liver Transplant

Surgery of any kind carries basic risks. It might ease your mind to know that UPMC’s renowned liver transplant surgeons have experience with complex cases, reducing the risks for complications during surgery.

It is on a rare occasion that a complication would occur during living-donor liver transplant that would require further corrective surgery or medical treatments.

Some risks of living-donor liver transplant may include:

  • Bile leakage — this occurs in a small subset of liver donors and most often resolves itself. Doctors can also aid the healing process by placing a tube in the liver.
  • Infection — some liver donors may get an infection at the site of surgery. If this happens, our transplant team will watch over your condition to reduce health issues.
  • Organ damage or other problems — liver donation can also cause organ damage, further complications, or even death in very rare cases.

Learn More About Living-Donor Liver Transplant

The links below will open a new browser window.

UPMC's HealthBeat Blog:

 

From our Health Library:


UPMC | Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences | Supplemental content provided by Healthwise, Incorporated. To learn more, visit www.healthwise.org

For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. UPMC policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, genetics, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected group status. Further, UPMC will continue to support and promote equal employment opportunity, human dignity, and racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in UPMC programs and activities. This commitment is made by UPMC in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.

Medical information made available on UPMC.com is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, UPMC.com is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

UPMC
Pittsburgh, PA, USA | UPMC.com