What Are the Risks for Living Donors in Liver Transplant Surgeries?


Quick Answer

Long-term risks living liver donors may face include narrowing of the bile duct, organ impairment or failure that can result in the need for transplantation, bile leakage, and intestinal problems such as blockages and tears, according to the American Transplant Foundation. Risks involved with the surgery include pain, infection, an allergic reaction to the anesthesia and injury to the surrounding tissue and other organs.

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Full Answer

Other complications possible in any surgery include blood loss, blood clots, pneumonia and possible death, explains the American Transplant Foundation. Donating a lobe of one's liver may also result in wound infections, abdominal bleeding or a hernia.

Living donors must have a blood type that is compatible with that of the recipient of the liver, have excellent health, and be between the ages of 18 and 60, states the University of Maryland Medical Center. A good candidate for living donor is typically the same size as the recipient or larger and is free of uncontrolled high blood pressure, liver disease, heart disease and diabetes.

The risk of death as a result of donating a lobe of one's liver is approximately 0.5 percent, notes the University of Maryland Medical Center. The most frequent complaints of donors include temporary jaundice and arm numbness, stomach problems, and a general feeling of weakness or discomfort.

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