Selecting the right donor for a living donor liver transplant requires experience, skill and technical expertise on the part of the many doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals who make up the liver transplant team. As a result, adult living donor liver transplantation is considered one of the most challenging procedures in modern medicine.
Potential living liver donors are carefully evaluated. Only those individuals who can donate a portion of liver that is likely to function immediately are selected. Since the health and safety of the donor is of paramount concern during the evaluation, only those donors for whom a risk of death is less than 0.5% are considered.
A potential donor must:
- Be in good overall health and physical condition
- Be older than 18 years of age and younger than 60 years of age
- Have a liver that is the right size for the recipient
- Have a blood type compatible with the recipient
- Have a near normal body weight (body mass index less than 35)
A potential donor must be free from:
- HIV infection
- Known viral hepatitis
- Active alcoholism with frequent and heavy alcohol intake
- Psychiatric illness
- A history of cancer
- Heart and lung disease requiring medication
- A history of previous liver surgery