Living Donor Liver Transplant

Houston Methodist is among just a handful of liver transplant programs in the U.S. that performs living donor transplants, giving hope to patients who may otherwise not receive lifesaving organs.

 

Our staff is committed to thoroughly screening everyone to ensure they can safely donate a portion of their liver and live a healthy life after donation. 

How does living liver donor transplant work?

In a living donor transplant, a piece, or lobe, of a healthy person’s liver is removed through surgery and transplanted into a recipient, replacing the diseased liver. Living donation is possible because a healthy liver regenerates over a short period. Within weeks of surgery, both the donor’s and the recipient’s livers are fully functional. 

Who can receive a living donor liver transplant?

The best candidates to receive a living donor liver transplant are those whose conditions, while advanced, do not allow them to progress on the national waiting list. These include certain liver cancers and diseases like primary biliary cholangitis and primary sclerosing cholangitis.

 

Who can be a living liver donor?

A living donor must be a healthy person who has a compatible blood type with the recipient. Donors may be family members or other loved ones with a close connection to the patient.

 

Living donors are as much our patients as those in need of transplant. Our goal is to ensure our living donors’ health, safety and interests at all times. All potential living donors at Houston Methodist undergo extensive education and medical and psychological evaluations before being approved. All living donors are assigned an independent living donor advocate, who prioritizes the donor’s needs and interests. 

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