Information on living liver donation

In living liver donation, only a section of the liver is removedIn living liver donation, a section of the liver is transplanted. The remaining piece of liver remains in the donor's body. Grows back to nearly baseline size after donation. The removed liver section is transferred to the recipient and takes over the tasks of the diseased liver.

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Living liver donation – facts and figures

At the end of 2020, there were 891 people on the waiting list for a liver transplant in Germany. In 2020, 826 livers were transplanted. 52 of these donor livers came from a living organ donation. That is, for every 100 livers transplanted, about six come from a living organ donation.

A part of the liver is removed from the donor in this procedure. The liver section is then transplanted.

Procedure for living liver donation

The process of living organ donation begins long before the actual removal operation. Before the actual transplantation it is necessary to clarify the conditions. Then find removal operation. Transplantation takes place. The period after transplantation is characterized by follow-up examinations.

Before transplantation

– The recipient must be on the waiting list for a postmortem donated liver. – The donor must meet all the requirements for living organ donation. – Before the liver section is removed, the condition of the organ is medically checked. In individual psychological consultations, the donor's motivation is assessed. of the recipient is clarified. – The hospital's living organ donation committee makes a recommendation on living organ donation.

The transplantation

– Immediately after the portion of the liver is removed, it is transferred to the recipient. – The removal operation and the transplantation to the recipient take place approximately at the same time and in the same hospital.

After the transplantation

– After the transplant, the donor usually stays in the hospital for one to two weeks. – Both sides go to medical follow-up examinations at regular intervals.

The donor

In general, the donor must be healthy. Liver, heart and vessels should function normally. High blood prere and abnormal blood glucose levels are reasons for not donating the liver.

The age limit for a living liver donation is between 18 and 60 years.

Risks of living liver donation for the donor

As with any operation, complications can also occur with living liver donation. This includes in particular:

– Wound healing disorders and temperature increases, – Temporary liver failure, – Death (necrosis) of the liver tie at the interface, – Inflammation of the biliary system, – Injury to the bile ducts (bile leak).

In the case of living liver donation, only part of the liver tie is transplanted

Only so much liver tie is removed that the transplantation has a high chance of success. At the same time, enough liver tie remains with the donor that no permanent impairment of health is to be expected.

The protection of the donor is always paramount. For adult donors. About 60 percent of the liver is removed from donors. Part of the slightly smaller left lobe of the liver is often transferred to children. In adolescents, the entire left lobe of the liver is. The right lobe of the liver is transferred to adults. The ratio of the liver tie to be transplanted is important. The body weight of the recipient. For a recipient with a body weight of 70 kilograms, the transplant should weigh at least 700 grams. For this reason, the donor should not be significantly smaller than the donor. Be lighter than the recipient's.

After donation, the remaining liver grows back to almost its original size. The same also applies to the transplanted liver section.

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