Surgeons have been able to safely resect a portion (either the left lateral segment, left lobe or right lobe) of the liver without any harm to the donor.  The advantage of this technique is the ability to provide a donor for every needy recipient and the improved quality of the graft from a healthy living donor.  The relief for the family providing a donor for their child rather than the anxiety of waiting an undetermined period of time must be balanced against having two loved ones undergo major surgical procedures simultaneously.  The risk to the donor is minimal, however, it is important to remember that the donor is undergoing a major surgical procedure.  A six to eight day hospitalization is planned; expected length of recovery for the donor is eight weeks.
The donor evaluation involves a variety of blood tests (the donor and recipient must be a blood type match), a volumetric computed tomography (CT) scan of the liver (measuring the volume of the segment to be donation), a physical examination, a psychiatric examination and finally an arteriogram of the liver to assess the veins and arteries of the liver.  Once the donor is deemed a "good match," the surgical procedures are scheduled.

On the morning of surgery the “parent donor” will be taken to the surgical suites to harvest the liver segment.  Your child will be taken to the operating room a few hours later. The surgery is approximately 8 to 12 hours in length.  During the surgery, one of the OR nurses or surgeons will come out to speak with you and provide you with updates on your child’s condition.


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