Where does liver come from?
Liver is obtained from a Decease donor or Live Related donor.
This takes place from liver obtained from patients who are brain dead. (They are actually dead from legal, ethical, spiritual and clinical point of view). Once a brain dead patient is identified, and he is deemed as a potential donor, then the blood supply to his body is maintained by supporting heart and lungs with a machine for certain period, and the organs can be harvested which can function normally in a recipient. This is the principle of deceased organ donation. Young patients who die of accidents, brain haemorrhage or other causes of sudden death are the donors suitable for organ donation.
Part of liver from living related donor is a certain and timely available option and only HOPE of cure. Liver surgery can be carried out safely in almost all patients, though minimal but real risks including death exist for donor undergoing surgery. All patients are listed for dead donor liver but to get a dead donor is an uncertain thing and to get within optimum time is again a problem. God has given liver the capacity to regenerate and regrow if part of normal healthy liver is removed. Hence we can divide part of liver from live person and attach it in another patient.
In a live donor liver transplant, a portion of the liver is surgically removed from a live donor and transplanted into a recipient immediately after the recipient’s liver has been entirely removed.
Donor safety is the first objective of the whole process. Utmost care is taken while selecting and operating liver donors. But as with any operation, risk of complications and death is always there. 10-15% of donor may experience complications which can be managed effectively but 0.02 – 0.05 % donors may die during operation.
Live donor liver transplantation is possible because the liver (unlike any other organ in the body) has the ability to regenerate or grow. Both halves of the liver used for transplantation regenerate to the size of a normal liver within a period of 4-8 weeks.
Today, many transplant centres are performing these life saving surgeries.
Who Can Donate?
Selecting the right donor for a live donor liver transplant requires experience, skill and technical expertise on the part of the many doctors, transplant coordinator and other health care professionals who make up the Live Donor Team.
Potential live liver donors are carefully evaluated. The health and safety of the donor is the most important concern during the evaluation. Only donors in good health are considered.
A potential donor should:
- Be either a relative or spouse,
- Have a compatible blood type
- Be in good overall health and physical condition
- Be older than 18 years of age and younger than 55 years of age
- Have a near normal body mass index (not obese)
A donor must be free from:
- History of Hepatitis B or C
- HIV infection
- Active alcoholism or frequent heavy alcohol use
- Drug abuse
- Psychiatric illness currently under treatment
- A recent history of cancer