Donation of Liver

The liver can be donated by two types of donors:

Deceased Donor Liver Transplantation

This procedure uses a liver that becomes available when a person dies (brain death) and his or her family donates the organ for transplantation. This occurs in patients transferred to intensive care unit after brain death due to an accident or disease. After determining that the patient is actually dead (brain death) and obtaining his/her family’s consent for organ donation, some organs and the whole liver of the donor can be removed to be transplanted in other patients. Following removal of the liver, it is safely kept outside the body in special protective solutions for 12-15 hours. During this period, International Coordination System (ICS) is contacted to identify the most suitable recipients and transport the liver to the relevant center.

Distribution of such organs depends on the blood type that should be compatible with the patient’s blood type; the time spent on the waiting list; and urgency pursuant to applicable regulations of T.R. Ministry of Health.

Living Donor Liver Transplant

It is a type of transplantation in which a portion of the liver can be removed from a living donor in accordance with medical and legal rules. There must be a blood relationship of fourth degree between the donor and recipient to perform the procedure. If the donor is not related to the recipient but has been a friend of the recipient for long, the approval of ethics committees under Health Directorates must be obtained to evaluate the procedure.
The donor procedure is totally safe, and the half of the liver is quickly regenerated both in the donor and recipient in several weeks. Although regeneration is not completed in several days after the surgery, the half of the liver continues to function normally because of the large reserve in the liver.

Conditions for Living Donor Liver Transplant

  1. Donation should be based on free will of the donor.
  2. Donor must be older than 18 years old.
  3. Donor must be related to the recipient at up to fourth degree.
  4. Blood type of the donor and recipient must match.
  5. Donor’s liver structure and functions and other systems must be normal.
  6. Anatomy of donor liver should be compatible with the recipient and him/herself.

Compatibility of above conditions and other technical issues is determined by the Transplantation Team in Pre-Transplant Donor Evaluation that usually takes 2 to 3 days.
What you should know about liver transplantation

CUSA (Cavitron ultrasonic surgical aspirator), the modern liver dissection device, allows a safer surgery and prevents a large volume of blood loss.
Since a normal liver has a large capacity to store, the liver still functions normally even if 70% of it is removed.
A liver of normal structure regenerates itself very quickly and gains a sufficient size sufficient in the first week.

Life after Liver Donation

The donor will stay at the hospital for 7-10 days after the operation. Home rest should be 3-4 weeks. The donor may get back his/her routine activities (except heavy physical exercises after rest period and go to work 6 weeks after the operation. If the donor feels well, he/she can have sexual intercourse. The donors need to wait for 3 months to do any heavy physical activities or weight lifting.

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The information on this website is not intended to replace any medical advice given by physicians with access to your detailed medical history.