What are the advantages of a living-donor liver transplant (LDLT)?

Living-donor liver transplantation has two major advantages over deceased-donor transplantation. First, there is an improved survival rate for the adult transplant recipients who received living-donor livers over deceased-donor livers. Secondly, the wait for transplantation can be greatly reduced.

Improved survival is thought to be related to optimal timing of transplantation. Living donor livers are healthy since they are only taken from donors in good physical condition. A living donor is carefully evaluated to ensure they have an optimal liver for the recipient. Living donor livers are immediately transplanted after being taken out of the donor. This short cold time is also thought to be important in the excellent outcomes of living-donor liver transplantation.

Nationally, nearly 17,000 individuals wait for liver transplantation, while only 6,700 deceased-donor organs, those coming from brain-dead donors, become available each year. With living-donor transplantation the timing of the transplant operation can be planned and the progression of the recipient's liver disease and its life-threatening complications can be avoided.

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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.