Why Choose Living-Donor Liver Transplant?

Advances in surgery and care allow for an adult to donate a portion of their healthy liver to help a child in need of a transplant. A living-donor liver transplant greatly reduces the wait time for a child to undergo the transplant and improves survival.

While a child may spend many months or even years on the UNOS wait list for a cadaveric liver, he or she may only need to wait a couple weeks once a living donor is found.

Survival Benefits

Living-donor liver transplant consistently improves both graft survival and patient survival compared with deceased donor transplantation. Other advantages include:

  • Reduced wait time for transplantation
  • A child can receive the transplant before his or her liver disease has progressed to a severe stage
  • More positive, longer term outcomes for patients, which may be related to genetic matching and immunologic advances from healthy living related donors
  • Ability to lower immunosuppression

Other Benefits

The living-donor surgery provides a level of convenience because the donor and recipient can have the surgery on their own schedule. With a deceased donor transplant, you are on-call for when an organ becomes available. Recipients always need to be prepared to come to the hospital on short notice.

In addition, a living-donor transplant can be done earlier in the child's disease, when he or she has a better chance of recovery and can make it through the surgery easier.

The risks for a donor are lower for a child donation than an adult-to-adult transplant. Only about 20 to 25 percent of the liver is needed for a child, rather than up to 60 percent for adults.

The donor benefits from knowing they have contributed to the child's life.

Our Approach

At the Hillman Center for Pediatric Transplantation, we work as a team with donors, children, and family members to ensure the best possible outcomes and experience for everyone. We've been at the forefront of pediatric transplantation for more than 30 years, and we understand the emotional, social, and financial challenges as well as the medical complexities of the transplant process.

You will have a dedicated team of experts to help every member of your family find answers, receive care, and feel supported. You can feel confident that the liver transplant team providing medical care to your child has the knowledge and experience to handle even the most complex cases.

To contact us with questions about living-donor liver transplant, call 412-692-6110 or send an email to livertransplant@chp.edu.