What are the conditions to be a live donor for the liver transplant?
The donor selected from relatives up to the 4th degree must be volunteers. All tests performed on the live donor should show that it is okay to give the person a piece of the liver. These tests are in two directions:
First; Examinations to all systems to prevent organ donors from being harmed (all organs such as the heart, lungs, digestive system, and psychological state).
Second; Liver Examinations. In these examinations, all structural features of the liver, such as an artery, vein, and biliary tracts are examined.
If all the tests are proper, physicians approve that the volunteer is eligible for donation. The age range for liver donation is between 18 and 50.
What are the surgery details of the live donor?
For pediatric patients, it is usually enough to take small pieces (25%) from the left side of the donor’s liver. For adult patients, the right (60%) or left half (40%) of the donor’s liver is often required. Liver transplant surgery with live donor takes between 8-18 hours.
The liver resection team and the transplantation team usually work simultaneously in this surgery. The transplantation team removes all of the diseased liver, keeping the recipient’s abdominal vein (vena cava) in place. Then the piece taken from the live donor is transplanted in the place where the patient’s liver once located.
Live donor liver transplantation surgery is technically more difficult than cadaveric surgery. Because it requires a larger team due to simultaneous work. At least 4 surgeons, 6 nurses, 2 anesthesiologists work during the surgery. Besides, microsurgery and ultrasound monitoring during the surgery are required for suturing the micro artery.
The average duration of the live donor’s postoperative stay in intensive care is 1 day. The average full length of hospital stay is 7 days for the donor if there is no complication.
Does the live donor get a liver disease in the future?
There is no such risk for donors in the long run. The remaining liver is sufficient for a healthy individual. Namely, it does not endanger the donors’ life.
The liver is the only organ in our body that can regenerate itself. Eventually, the organ restores itself to its former volume within 3 months. The fastest growth takes place within the first 10 days after surgery. Donors’ estimated lifetime remains the same. Additionally, they do not experience any disability either, due to this surgery in the long term.