The liver is the only organ in the body that can grow cells and regenerate itself. It can actually be split in half and transplanted into two different recipients. A living personal also can have a portion of his or her liver removed, and the portion that remains will regenerate itself to nearly its original size.
Livers can be transplanted into a recipient, without removing the recipient's own liver.
Since an adult liver can be split, it can be split in such a way that the portion will not be too large for a child to receive it, and that portion will grow to accommodate the child as he or she becomes an adult.
Here's a closer look at statistics involving liver transplants:
- The number of people who were added to list from July 2006 to June 2007: 10,887
- The total number of people who were on kidney waiting list as of June 2007: 17,142
- The total number of transplants from deceased donors from July 2006 to June 2007: 6,274
- The total number of transplants from living donors from July 2006 to June 2007: 258
- The mortality rate while awaiting a liver: 13 percent