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How do living donor and deceased donor liver transplants compare?

The results from living donor liver transplants are better than those from deceased donors. Nationally, survival after 3 years is markedly better in living donor transplants. There is a 10% and 20% increase in survival from living donor versus deceased donor transplants.
Deceased and living donor transplants are both used to treat people with liver failure. Living donor transplants enable people to get transplanted at a lower MELD score when the timing is optimal. This leads to lower risk of dying while waiting for a transplant and better outcomes after a transplant. Of course, in living donor transplantation, someone must donate a portion of their liver to the recipient.

There are two key advantages to a live liver donation -- a higher quality organ and a more certain match. Watch this video featuring transplant surgeon Dr. Tomoaki Kato to learn why the timing of a transplant is also an important factor.

In a living donor transplant, the recipient gets part of a liver; in a deceased donor transplant, the patient gets the whole liver, according to liver transplant surgeon Dr. Robert Brown. Watch the video to learn why a living-donor organ can lower a patient’s chance of dying by 50 percent.

The main advantage of a living donor liver transplant over that of a deceased donortransplant is that it can be done quickly,enablingthe sick recipient to avoid waiting on the deceased donor list, which is generallyquite long because of the shortage of these organs.A long waiting period does not benefit sick patients, and many of them become weaker during the waiting process.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.