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Living-Donor Liver Transplants

With the typical wait for a liver transplant ranging from one-and-a half to two years, only one third of those on the waiting list will be able to receive a deceased-donor liver transplant. 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.

This surgery is made possible by the liver’s unique ability to regenerate, or regrow, in about eight to 10 weeks. While recovery time may vary, most donors are back to baseline health within three months after surgery.

What Does this Mean for Your Patient?

Living-donor liver transplantation provides consistent benefits to patients on the liver transplant waiting list.

Advantages include:

  • Improved graft survival and patient survival
  • 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

Patients who can identify a suitable living donor are able to receive a life-saving transplant sooner and before their health has reached a more debilitating state prior to transplant.

UPMC Expertise

  • Located in the heart of Pittsburgh, Pa., the UPMC Liver Transplant Program is one of the oldest and largest in the United States.
  • Our experts have accomplished many historical “firsts” and have pioneered and refined new therapies, giving hope to patients across the country and around the world.
  • Our experts are consistently challenged with some of the most difficult and complex cases – including patients with acute liver failure and combined thoracic conditions.
  • Our surgeons and specialists have used this experience to develop new and improved treatment modalities.

UPMC Living Donor Champion Program

Help your patients learn more about the role of a living donor Champion and resources for finding a living donor. Download our Champion Toolkit.

UPMC Complex Care Connect™

Through the 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. Learn more about UPMC Complex Care Connect™.

In the News

A new study, published in the Annals of Surgery, highlights the advantages of living-donor liver transplant over deceased donor, including a greater overall survival advantage, a reduced hospital stay, and lower hospital costs. For more information, read the full article.