Living Liver Donation
Finding a live donor with the dedicated help of the living donor champion at University Health.
What Is a Living Donor Liver Transplant?
When your child receives a portion of a living, healthy adult’s liver, it’s called a living-donor transplant. The donor freely gives this special gift to benefit your child.
Living liver donation is possible because the human liver has the unique ability to grow back to its original size and function. Your child’s transplanted partial liver will grow into a normal-sized liver as he or she develops.
Benefits of a Living Donor Transplant
A living donor offers your child an alternative to placement on the national waiting list. Your child may also benefit from:
- Advanced planning and flexible scheduling of transplant surgery
- Better long-term survival rate
- Fewer medical problems after transplantation
- Higher-quality liver for transplant from an evaluated and healthy donor
- Shorter hospital stays
- Transplantation before getting very sick
Who Can Be a Living Liver Donor?
You (parent/guardian), a family member or a friend can be a living donor to your child. The living donor has to be at least 18 years old, in excellent health and meet other living liver donor criteria.
Finding a Living Donor for Your Child
Partner with our Champion for Life team to identify a living liver donor for your child. You’ll gain an advocate who provides:
- Education to your family and others about living donation
- News media (radio, TV and newspaper) exposure and human-interest stories to promote your child’s need
- Social media networking to raise awareness of your child’s situation
Living Donor Compatibility
When you find a living donor, we will evaluate them to determine the health of their liver and compatibility with your child. The donor must also have a similar liver size.
Liver Paired Exchange
Improve your child’s chance of getting a living-donor liver by working with our transplant experts. We participate in a living-donor liver program that may be able to pair your child with another donor if his or her intended donor is not a match. This benefits your child because we help arrange for your child’s donor to give part of his or her liver to an unrelated, compatible recipient, and your child receives a liver segment from another living donor who is a match.