A living-donor transplantation involves the removal of a portion of the donor’s healthy liver for transplantation into a recipient in need. Anyone may volunteer to donate a portion of their healthy liver. The liver has unique ability to regenerate. After transplantation, the partial liver of both the donor and the recipient will grow and remodel to form a complete organ.
A live liver transplant is more desirable than a cadaveric liver because there is an improved survival rate for the adult transplant recipient. Also, the wait should be reduced in that the donor is available now. The survival rate is also improved because of the optimal timing of the transplant. Living donors are healthy and in good physical condition. A living donor is carefully evaluated to ensure they have an optimal liver for the recipient. Living donor livers are immediately transplanted. The short cold time is believed to also be an important in the outcome of the transplant.
The first successful liver transplant occurred in 1967. In 1984 congress passed The National Organ Transplant Act passed establishing the framework for a national system of organ transplantation.
Until the early 1980’s, the potential of organ rejection limited the number of transplants performed. Medical advances in the prevention and treatment of rejection led to more successful transplants and an increase in demand.
The first split-liver transplant was performed in 1988. The first successful liver transplant from a living donor was performed in 1989. In 1998, the first successful liver transplant from a living adult donor to an adult recipient was completed.
The goal of Be Not Afraid, LLC (BNA) is to build a database that will offer live liver transplants to hospitals with patients throughout the US with compatible candidates. This will be the first Live Liver Transplant database! People have to be educated. A liver transplant does not have to be cadaveric.
Nationally, nearly 17,000 individuals wait for liver transplantation, while only 6,700 deceased donor organs become available yearly. Living donor transplants are planned. Once a match is identified the operation is scheduled to insure the most successful outcome.
The general criteria for a liver donation include being in good health, having a blood type compatible with the recipient, being between the ages of 20 – 60 and having an altruistic motivation for donating.