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All about liver transplant candidate for liver transplant liver transplant donors liver transplant organ distribution and waiting list liver transplant procedure recovery from liver transplant surgery complications of liver transplantation medications for liver transplant Articles in liver diseases - cirrhosis of the liver hemochromatosis primary sclerosing cholangitis primary biliary cirrhosis alagille syndrome alpha1-antitrypsin deficiency Crigler-Najjar syndrome hepatitis fatty liver liver transplant Wilson's disease ascites cholestasis jaundice liver encephalopathy liver failure portal hypertension

Where do donated livers come from?

Liver donors are usually persons who have died and whose families have consented to having their organ donated. Sometimes, however, a living person can donate a portion of his/her liver to another person.

Living donor liver transplants are an option for some patients with end-stage liver disease. This involves removing a segment of liver from a healthy living donor and implanting it into a recipient. Both the donor and recipient liver segments will grow to normal size in a few weeks. The donor, who may be a blood relative, spouse, or friend, will have extensive medical and psychological evaluations to ensure the lowest possible risk. Blood type and body size are critical factors in determining who is an appropriate donor. Recipients for the living donor transplantation must be active on the transplant waiting list. Their health must also be stable enough to undergo transplantation with excellent chances of success.

In cadaveric liver transplantation, the donor may be a victim of an accident or head injury. The donor’s heart is still beating but the brain has stopped functioning. Such a person is considered legally dead, because his or her brain has permanently and irreversibly stopped working. The heart continues to beat because the donor is attached to a respirator. The respirator delivers an adequate supply of oxygen to all vital organs. At this point, the donor is in an intensive-care unit. The identity of a cadaveric donor and circumstances surrounding the person's death are kept confidential.

Hospitals will evaluate all potential donors for evidence of liver disease, alcohol or drug abuse, cancer, or infection. Donors will also be tested for hepatitis, AIDS, and other infections. If this screening does not reveal problems with the liver, donors and recipients are matched according to blood type and body size. Age, race, and sex are not considered.

The transplant team will discuss your transplantation options with you at the time of your pretransplant evaluation, or you can contact the transplant team for more information.

More information on liver transplant

What is a liver transplant? - Liver transplant is a surgical procedure performed to replace a diseased liver with a healthy liver from another person. An entire liver may be transplanted, or just a section.
Who is a candidate for a liver transplant? - To determine who is in the most critical need of a liver transplant, the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) uses a system.
Where do donated livers come from? - Liver donors are usually persons who have died and whose families have consented to having their organ donated.
How are transplanted organs allocated? - The United Network for Organ Sharing is responsible for transplant organ distribution in the United States.
How is liver transplant surgery performed? - There are three types of liver transplantation methods. They're orthotopic transplantation, heterotopic transplantation, and reduced-size liver transplants.
How to recover from liver transplant surgery? - Patients with transplanted livers have to stay on immunosuppressant drugs for the rest of their lives to prevent organ rejection.
What're the complications of liver transplantation? - There are several complications that can affect a recipient of a liver transplant. Major bleeding is common after transplantation.
What medications are used for liver transplant? - Liver transplant recipients are prescribed immunosuppressive medications to prevent rejection and antibiotics to prevent infections. 
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