More than 1,400 lives are lost every year in America because there simply aren’t enough livers for everyone who needs one. A living donor removes the recipient from the transplant waiting list, which helps others. Liver donor transplants save lives faster. Ochsner is home to the only living liver program in Louisiana.
What Is a Living Donor Liver Transplant?
A living donor liver transplant is a transplant using part of a living person’s liver.
At the Ochsner Multi-Organ Transplant Institute, we encourage patients and their families to consider living donor liver transplantation. It truly is the gift of life.
Information for Living Liver Recipients
Advantages of Living Donor Transplantation for the Recipient
Shorter Wait Times
If you have a living liver donor, you don’t have to wait as long, even if you have a low MELD score. A shorter wait time can reduce the risk of the death while waiting on the deceased donor list.
If you become a living liver donor, we’ll know more about the past and present health of your donor’s liver than we might about a liver from a deceased donor.
More Time to Plan
With a living donor, patients and their physicians have more time to plan. The patient’s transplant can be done when both the donor and the patient are in the best health possible.
Information for Living Liver Donors
The Facts about Donating Your Liver
If you’re considering becoming a living donor, it’s important that you learn as much as you can.
If you become a living donor, you can rest assured that the remaining part of your liver is sufficient to maintain your normal body functions. In approximately two months, the remaining part of your liver will grow and provide you with normal long-term function.
You can donate your liver if:
- You are between 18 and 60 years old
- You are in excellent physical and emotional health
- You have normal or near normal liver function
- You have a compatible blood type with the patient needing a transplant
You do not need to be a blood relative of the person needing a liver transplant.
Advantages of Living Donor Transplantation for the Donor
A Chance to Give a Unique Gift
This is a special way for you to restore health to close friend or family member needing a new liver.
Steps to Being a Living Liver Donor
One: The Interview
- You must call to begin the process.
- Your information and medical history will be taken over the phone.
Two: The Evaluation
- Blood tests will be done to find out if your liver is a match.
- This can be done in your hometown.
- Tests are done to make sure you are healthy and that your liver function is normal or near normal.
- We review your test and results and decide if you can donate.
Three: The Surgery
- Surgery is scheduled after you are approved.
The insurance of the person needing the liver transplant pays for the donor’s:
- Hospital stay
- Medical visits for the first month after surgery
Note: Travel and time off from work are not paid for by insurance.