Tests and Procedures

Living-donor liver transplant

Why it's done

The number of people waiting for a liver transplant greatly exceeds the number of available deceased-donor livers. Living-donor liver transplant offers an alternative to waiting for a deceased-donor liver.

Having a living liver donor also allows the recipient to avoid some possible health complications while waiting for a transplant. People who have a living-donor liver transplant seem to have fewer medical problems after the procedure than those who receive a deceased-donor liver, as well as a longer survival rate of the donated organ.

Living-donor liver transplants are more common among children who need a liver transplant than among adults because suitable deceased-donor organs are scarce.

Most living liver donors are close family members or friends of the liver transplant candidates.

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