Who can be a donor?

Living Donor Liver Transplant Program

If you've had a liver transplant at UMMC or are on the wait list for a liver transplant at UMMC, join our liver transplant community on Facebook and share your journey with other patients.

Watch as Dr. Steve Hanish provides an overview of living donor liver transplantation at UMMC.

Who can be a Donor?

The best candidates for donation are family members or close, personal friends of the recipient. If you are a family member or close, personal friend of someone in need of living liver donation, please contact our liver transplant office at 410-328-3444 to learn more about the process.

The transplant team is extremely careful in choosing living donors. Potential donors must meet the following minimum criteria:

  • Be in excellent medical and psychosocial health.
  • Be between the ages of 18 and 60.
  • Cannot have uncontrolled high blood pressure, liver disease, diabetes, or heart disease.
  • Be a compatible blood type with the recipient.
  • Be of equivalent or larger size rather than of smaller size.

These characteristics can be assessed by the transplant team at the time of the evaluation.

What are the risks involved with being a donor?

Donating a part of a liver does not change the life expectancy of a donor, nor does it increase a person's chance of developing liver disease. The liver regenerates to its normal size within 2 to 5 weeks within the donor.

Any surgery involves risks such as infection, bleeding or even death. In general, the risks of severe complications are minimal but present. The Living Donor Liver transplant team will review all potential risks and complications with donors during their initial consultation prior to donor consent. The risk of death is estimated to be 0.5 percent or lower. The most commonly reported complications include general surgical risks such as bleeding and infection, incisional hernias, temporary jaundice, temporary arm numbness, bile duct complications, and general malaise and stomach disturbances.

To learn more about living donor liver transplantation, please call 410-328-3444.

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