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Last Updated: Jan 22, 2020

Know How To Choose A Liver Donor For Liver Transplant!

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Dr. Goutham KumarGeneral Surgeon • 19 Years Exp.MBBS, MS - General Surgery, Fellowship - American Society of Transplant surgeons
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The liver can be transplanted either from the living-donor or from the deceased donor. Liver transplant surgery includes the transplantation of a part of the liver from the donor to the donee who has a damaged liver and does not function well. Living-donor liver transplant is more common especially among children as the number of liver donee are more than the available deceased donors of the liver.

Living liver donors are the alternative for the donee waiting for a liver transplant from a deceased person. The remaining liver of the living donor, after the transplant, regenerates itself and reoccurs to its usual capacity and volume within a few months post the surgery. The donated part of the liver to the donee also regenerates and restores to its normal functioning.

Most often, the living-donor of the liver is a close relative or friend. Everyone or anyone cannot donate a liver but only those can who have the matching liver depending on age, organ size, blood type, and other health and medical factors. Both the donor and the donee have to go through a thorough medical examination before the transplant to know the potential outcome and risk involved.

For the transplant, the donor is first operated and the required part of his/her liver is removed. The donee’s damaged liver part is then replaced by the healthy liver part of the donor. Both the donor’s and the donee’s operated liver is then attached with the bile duct and the blood vessels. Both the patients are kept under observation for some days for the medical team to know if they are having any health issue due to the transplant. The operated liver regenerates itself within certain months and starts functioning normally.

Precautions for the Donor-
Although the donor can go back to normal life routine a few months after the transplant there are a number of precautions that should be taken into account to avoid any health issue or liver damage.
● Avoid smoking.
● Avoid consumption of alcohol.
● Eat on time or do not starve or overeat.
● Avoid having heavy meals.
● Avoid heavy exercise or weight lifting or physical work.

Take Away-
Liver transplant is a surgery conducted to remove the damaged or injured liver of the patient with the healthy liver of the donor. The donor of the liver can either be deceased or living depending upon the availability of the donor and the severity of the donee.

Various lab tests and examinations are conducted on the donor and the donee to confirm their match and assess potential complications before the transplant. The donor is usually someone close to the patient or the donee whose liver has been matched depending upon various factors. As the liver regenerates within a few months, the donor can lead a normal life after the transplant.


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