What is living liver donation?
When a healthy person donates a portion of their liver to a transplant recipient who is suffering from end-stage liver disease it is living liver donation.
At the time of transplant procedure, the patient’s diseased liver has to be removed and replaced with a small portion of the healthy donor’s liver.
Because a healthy person’s liver is able to grow back, living liver donation is one of the most generous decisions some people decide to make.
Why living liver donation?
Patients who have been suffering from end-stage liver disease have two options for treatment:
- a liver transplant from a dead donor
- a liver from a living donor.
The demand for liver for transplantation isexceeded the number available absolutely, and demand is steadily increasing. Indian Medical Council, has taken up the responsibility to allocate dead donor livers for transplant, reports that there are more than 16,000 candidates who had waiting for a liver transplant. In 2017, only 9,368 livers were donated from dead donors.
For the patients who need a liver transplant, for them receiving a part of a liver from a living donor is the only option.
Then waitingtime for a liver from a dead donor can be ranging from many months to years, this depends on the patient’s ranking on the wait list.
70 patients in India transplant program have been awaiting for a liver transplant. Whereas for patients who are able to receive a living donor liver transplant get their reduced their wait time for transplantation and therefore it so, that they have more control over when the operation occurs.
Because in case of requirements for living liver donors at India, only selected patients are able to go ahead with a living liver donor transplant.
A lot of times individuals interested in donating are family members, but a growing number are friends or co-workers.
The main reason of liver failure are viral infections like Hepatitis C, cirrhosis of the liver, early-stage liver cancer, hemochromatosis, primary biliary cirrhosis, primary sclerosing cholangitis, Wilson’s disease, alcoholic liver disease, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, biliary duct atresia, and cystic fibrosis. A living donor’s liver is able to fully regrow within 4 months and it is ultimately able to regainit’s full function.
The donated portion has the same effect for the recipient. A liver from a dead donor might also be split and transplanted into two different recipients.
Indian transplant doctors and surgeons have had extensive experience with living-donor liver transplant ranging from adults to children.
An adult to adult living-donor liver transplant program offers an alternative over dead-donor organ transplantation. Patients would have a shorter waiting period and equal or improved life expectancy with a living-donor transplant.
Generally, these following guidelines will make patients to have benefit from a living donor liver transplant:
- The person who is willing to donate a portion of their liver and who is a compatible donor must be a relative or close friend of the recipient
- Eligible recipients usually have symptoms of liver failure and have Model for End-Stage Liver Disease scores that stop them from receiving a transplant in a timely manner.