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Living Donation

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How to Become a Living Organ Donor

At UPMC, we believe in the life-saving power of living donation. For patients in need of a liver or a kidney transplant, a living donor transplant is a first-line treatment option, not a last resort.

Living Donor Transplant

During a living-donor liver transplant, a surgeon removes a portion of a healthy adult’s liver and transplants it into a patient with end-stage liver disease. The liver has the unique ability to regenerate, or regrow, in just a few months, leaving both the living donor and the recipient with a fully functioning liver.

During a living-donor kidney transplant, a surgeon removes one kidney from a healthy adult and transplants it into a patient with end-stage kidney disease. This procedure is possible because, although you have two kidneys, you can live a perfectly healthy life with only one working kidney.

Who Can be a Living Donor?

Living donors can be family members, friends, or even a stranger who is willing to help. A patient on the transplant list and their potential living donor don’t even need to have the same blood type.

To be a living donor, you need to be physically and mentally healthy, with no history of illnesses involving any major organs, as this could complicate surgery. To be a living-liver donor, you must be between the ages of 18 and 55. To be a living-kidney donor, you need to be between the ages of 18 and 75. And, maybe the most important qualification: you need to have an unselfish desire to help another person in need.

The Benefits of a Living-Donor Transplant

Living donor transplants help save the lives of people with end-stage liver or kidney disease by reducing their time on the transplant waiting list. Because they are healthier at the time of transplant, these patients often have improved outcomes and a quicker recovery.

Living donors are given the rare chance to save someone else’s life and see their friend or loved one return to health and happiness..

UPMC and Donate Life America Partnership

UPMC and Donate Life America are partnering to raise awareness of living donation.

Visit the UPMC and Donate Life: Living-Donor Transplant Facebook page.

Contact Us or Request an Appointment

Fill out the form below to contact UPMC Transplant Services about living donation. A member of our team will be in contact with you soon.

If you have a medical emergency, please call 911 or visit the nearest emergency department. For urgent referrals, please contact UPMC’s 24-hour physician referral service by calling 1-800-544-2500.