Does donating a part of your liver affect life expectancy?

What is a living donor liver transplant:

When a part of a living person’s liver is taken out of a living individual and implanted in a person suffering from liver failure, this whole process is termed a living donor liver transplant. 

This might sound frightening! But fret not! As told by the best liver transplant surgeon in India, both the liver has the ability to regenerate in their original size after the surgery within a few weeks. It is absolutely safe. 

Statistically, the number of people waiting to receive liver transplants exceeds the number of people willing to donate and the availability of deceased donors. Living donor transplantation is a better option in curing end-stage liver disease because it makes sure the availability of the organ when required. 

The liver transplant can be either of the following:

  • Living donor liver transplant 
  • Deceased donor transplant – where a person is brain dead or mortal and the organ is donated. 
  • Paired organ exchange– This is where a living donor is available but does not match the recipient, then in such cases, another match is found and exchange is made. 

Willing to donate part of your liver? Get in touch with fortis hospital Mohali appointment for further details. 

Process of becoming a living organ donor:

Liver transplant donation comes with certain benefits as well as few risks. As a donor, you must be well-versed with all the complications involved in the transplant. You must also know the process to become a qualified living organ donor to give a joy of life to someone needy. Don’t worry, the liver is an indispensable part of our body and it is totally safe to donate part of your liver. 

Evaluation:

The evaluation process is the initial stage before liver transplant surgery, to check the compatibility. It involves a few important tests to ensure matching with the recipient and fit to donate a part of your own liver. These tests are performed at the liver and biliary institute to make sure you’re safe during the surgery on that note and also healthy after donating part of your liver. 

The tests include the following:

  • ECG
  • X-rays
  • Blood tests
  • Urine tests 
  • Colonoscopy
  • Cancer screening 
  • Physical examination
  • Family and medical history 
  • Tissue typing 
  • Pap smear
  • Mammogram 
  • Echocardiogram 
  • Psychological and social evaluation 

You may donate a lobe of your liver either to a family member, friends, or even a matched stranger. The only criteria needed is that you must be healthy enough to donate a lobe of your liver and you must have a compatible blood type in relation to the recipient. 

Surgery:

The surgery involves the procedure to place an incision on the living donor’s abdomen to right just below the rib cage. A part of the living donor’s liver is taken depending on the need of the recipient without disturbing any blood vessels connected to it. Further, the last step is to close the liver by incision procedure. 

You can absolutely do normal things just like before the transplant procedure. If you want to have a baby, do it. Nothing will make it harder to live a normal life just like before. Just give your body some time to heal. You will have to stay in the hospital for at least a week until you get better. 

Recovery:

During the recovery process, the donor is required to stay put in the hospital for at least a week. During the initial days, the living donor might feel slight pain and discomfort at the incision site which can be controlled by giving medications. The donor is kept in close observation in an intensive care unit (ICU) for the signs of recovery and regeneration of the liver. 

As your health progresses, you get discharged from the hospital followed by instructions and care taken at home. 

    • You will not be allowed to pick up weight up to 5kg until 2 months. 
    • You may have to visit the hospital on a regular basis to check your overall health condition
    • You need to take medications at per the specified time

 

  • You also need to practice incision holding and leg movements as instructed by your doctor 

 

The part of your left liver in the body will regenerate itself within 6-8 weeks on its own. 

Risks associated with living liver donation:

Liver donation does come with certain risks such as:

  • Nausea
  • Hernia
  • Death (very rare)
  • Wound infection
  • Blood clots
  • Pneumonia
  • Scarring of the liver tissue 
  • Pain and discomfort
  • Bleeding that may require transfusion
  • Bile leakage or bile duct issues 
  • Possible allergic reaction to anesthesia 

Although the best liver transplant surgeon in India will help reduce the risks associated with liver transplantation. 

Misconceptions regarding living liver donor:

The general misconception when it comes to liver donation is that people think it is the same as a kidney transplant. They may have to live without a liver just like in a kidney transplant where you need to live with one kidney. However, this is a common myth created in mind which is absolutely absurd!

The fact is that the liver is the only internal body organ that has the ability to regenerate itself in its original size within a few weeks after the surgery in both the living donor and the recipient. The time taken is usually 6-8 weeks. You can start living life just as before after that period. 

The quality of life in living donor transplants remains to be affected once the liver grows back to its actual size. Until then the living donor needs to take certain precautions such as diet and lifestyle changes to avoid any complications. 

The life expectancy of liver donor:

The life expectancy of the living donor remains unchanged. It is the same as before the transplant meaning it would be for the generalized public with no health condition. There is no impact on the health or living person’s body thanks to the surgeons at the liver and biliary institute.

The only impact will be on your life. You would feel proud for the rest of your life because you have helped save a life. People will appreciate you for your good deeds and look up to you as an ideal person. So do not hesitate to provide a helping hand to someone in need. Make your contribution today. Good deeds always outweigh the chance of risks associated with liver transplantation. Do get in touch with fortis hospital Mohali appointment to make your contribution.