About Liver Donation
| Living liver donation | Life
Liver for transplant can be obtained from two types
Such donation is possible from a brain dead person whose family
wishes to donate the person's organs before discontinuing life support.
This situation arises only in a hospital ICU in a person after brain
injury in an accident or in someone who has suffered fatal brain
hemorrhage etc. In these circumstances, the whole liver can be used
for an adult, and a part of it for a child. After removal from the
donor (a process called liver retrieval) the liver can safely be
kept preserved outside the body in special preservation solutions
for 12-15 hours.
Allocation of such organs is strictly according to blood group which
must match, time on waiting list and urgency of requirement.
Liver donation is also possible from a living donor who is a relative of the recipient who can donate half his/her liver. The donor operation is entirely safe and the half liver quickly regenerates in both the donor and the recipient in a few weeks. In the first few days after operation even when regeneration is not complete, the half liver is enough to maintain normal donor functions due to the immense reserve in the liver.
- The person must donate of his/her own free will
- The person should be between 18-55 years and weigh between
- The person must be a close relative
- The donor and recipient blood group must match
- The donor liver structure / function, as well as the other
systems must be normal
- Half of the donor liver must be enough in volume for the
The suitability in the above respects and some
other technical points is determined by the Transplant Team in Pre-transplant
donor evaluation which normally takes 2-3 days.
Facts about liver donation surgery
- Modern liver cutting techniques using CUSA have made it safe
and blood less
- Normal liver has immense reserve - nearly 70% of liver can
be safely removed although much less is removed
- Normal liver grows back very quickly - it can be restored
to normal size after removal of half the liver in just 2 weeks
Life after Liver Donation
After operation, the donor will stay in hospital for 5-10 days.
Another 3-4 weeks of recuperation is required at home. After that,
the donor can resume normal activity (except strenuous physical
exercise) and return to work 6 weeks after surgery. Sexual activity
can be resumed as soon as the donor feels well enough. Heavy physical
activity, sports including lifting weights can be resumed 3 months
There are no dietary or any other restrictions, and the donor
leads a completely normal life with normal liver function without
any decrease in the longevity of life or any other long-term consequences.
All the donors in the author's series of patients have led a normal
life after donation. None of them have died or had any major complications
in the short or long-term. This is also the experience of most
teams in the world undertaking such operations. However, among
more than 7000 donor operations worldwide, 6 deaths have been
reported which gives an expected mortality of around 0.1 %.
In a letter to the author, Manish Bhoraskar, a liver donor for his sister writes....
Manish who donated half of his liver to save his sister's
a year after donation
Hope you are doing great. How are things at
SGRH?. I am quite sure that you will be very happy to know
about some of my achievements after resuming work:
1. Just after five months from the date of my
surgery (6th January' 02) I went to Pachmadhi (A well known
hill station of the western region). In Pachmadhi, I used
to walk around 4 - 5 kms. a day in places like deep-waterfall,
forests & hills. During the whole journey & stay I never felt
that anything was adversely affecting me due to major surgery
which took place five months back & I was very comfortable
and really enjoyed myself.
2. Right from the day of resuming duty (1-March-02) I am comfortably
working for 12-16 hrs. a day in addition to daily journey
up & down to Pithampur, which is around 50 kms. from Indore.
3. As far as job related activities are concerned, my superiors
are absolutely happy with my performance and in my performance
appraisal for the whole year I was rated as "Excellent" &
got a performance award from the CEO of the Company.
4. I am also very hopeful to play a cricket
match in the coming season.
5. About the medicines, people got surprised when they came
to know that after 20-25 days from the day of surgery, I only
took multivitamin tablet (RECONIA) for some days.
6. I feel
very happy to see a complete change in Swati (my sister) with
the same level of zeal & enthusiasm. Nobody can imagine that
just few months before she was suffering from a terminal condition.
I would be very happy if my experiences can
help somebody in making up his mind for a needy person. I
express my gratitude for all the things, which you have done
for Swati & me and I wish you all the success for coming endeavors.
Wish you good luck!
Manish K Bhoraskar