UPMC transplant doctors consulting about imaging for a patient.

Living-Donor Liver Transplants

As the disparity between available organs for transplantation and the number of potential recipients increases, the waiting list grows rapidly. Living-donor liver transplantation provides a way for patients to overcome the limitations of the waiting list, with improved outcomes compared with deceased donor liver transplants.

While the typical wait for a deceased-donor liver transplant ranges from one-and-a-half to two years, a living-donor transplant can usually be performed within a few months.

Advantages of Living Donation

Living-donor liver transplantation consistently improves both graft survival and patient survival compared with deceased donor transplantation. Other advantages include:

  • A lower incidence of complication
  • Less delayed graft function
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Better graft function
  • Elimination of waiting time
  • Decreased cold ischemia injury
  • Expansion of the donor pool

UPMC Living Donor Champion Program

Concerns about putting a loved one at risk makes it difficult for patients on the transplant waiting list to ask a family member or a friend to consider living donation. Through the UPMC Living Donor Champion program, we offer support to patients and their family members through the entire transplant journey.

As part of this program, patients are encouraged to identify a Champion, or an advocate, to initiate the process of finding a donor. The Champion takes on the responsibility of identifying a living donor – allowing the patient to focus on his or her health.

Help your patients learn more about our program by downloading the Living Donor Champion Toolkit (PDF).

UPMC Complex Care ConnectTM

Through our innovative UPMC Complex Care Connect™ program, UPMC works with hospitals that have an existing liver transplant program and want to provide patients the option of a living-donor liver transplant. 

Through a collaborative approach, we work with partner hospitals to coordinate transplant surgery at UPMC and to provide pre- and post-surgery care at the partner hospital.