A living donor can be anyone—a parent, family member or friend. A donor has to meet certain health standards and have a donor evaluation. Based on these results, the pediatric liver transplant surgeon and team will decide if a donor is a good match for your child.
How does a person become a living donor?
A person must clearly express his interest to be a living donor and complete a donor evaluation. If he is a match and there are no other problems or issues, the living donor surgery will be scheduled. The entire process can take up to 6 months.
What happens during a living donor liver transplant?
The donor’s surgery will take place at Emory Transplant Center. During the donor’s surgery, surgeons will take a lobe or part of the liver from the living donor to replace your child’s unhealthy (diseased) liver.
The liver is made up of lobes—the right lobe makes up about 60 percent of the liver’s volume and the left lobe makes up about 40 percent. The liver transplant doctor will decide which lobe your child will need. The donor’s surgery may take 3 to 8 hours.
Once the donor liver is ready, your child’s liver transplant surgery will take place. Surgery may take 4 to 12 hours. Patients typically can go home 7 to 14 days after the transplant surgery.