Living Liver Donation
Due to the success of liver transplantation, the number of patients waiting for a liver has increased dramatically during the past 10 years. Unfortunately, the number of donors has not kept pace. Currently, there are 15,765 people waiting for liver transplants in the United States, but only enough livers to perform about 6,500 transplants each year. Because of this organ shortage, almost 1,500 people die each year while waiting for a liver transplant.
Laparoscopic Liver Surgery
Since 2001, Northwestern surgeons have gained significant expertise with minimally invasive laparoscopic liver resection for both benign and malignant conditions in patients with normal and diseased livers
In January 2006, Northwestern Memorial performed the world’s first laparoscopic live donor liver hepatectomy. This technique, pioneered at Northwestern Memorial, is now being adopted by a select number of programs in the United States.
Northwestern Memorial has performed more than 190 living donor liver transplants of which more than 100 have been performed laparoscopically.
Living Liver Donation
In living donor liver donation, individuals donate a portion of their liver. This approach works because the liver has the ability to regenerate itself in both the donor and recipient after transplantation. In addition to having a compatible blood type, potential donors should be: 18 to 60 years old, in good health with no major medical or psychiatric illnesses, able to understand and comply with instructions for surgery and recovery and motivated by altruistic reasons.
Living donor liver transplant educational talks are presented every Thursday at 1:00 p.m. Individuals interested in being evaluated for living liver donation or attending an education session, should call 312.695.0340.
The Liver Transplant Program at Northwestern Memorial Hospital has found an innovative solution to help reduce the waiting time for our patients. Our liver transplant program is one of the leaders in the country in offering adult-to-adult and adult-to-pediatric living donor liver transplantation, having performed more than 190 living donor liver transplants since 1999. In 2013, Northwestern Memorial performed 16 adult living donor liver transplants, making ours one of the largest living donor liver programs in the country and the largest in Illinois. The living donor survival rate at Northwestern Memorial is 100 percent, and the recipient survival rate is excellent. Being one of the first centers to perform laparoscopic living donor hepatectomy, Northwestern is one of a handful of centers in the country performing this procedure.
Northwestern is one of only nine centers in North America participating in a study sponsored by the National Institutes of Health to assess living donor liver transplantation (www.nih-a2all.org). The primary goal of this study is to provide valuable information on the outcomes of adult to adult living donor liver transplantation. This information is needed to aid decision made by physicians, patients and potential donors.
If you have questions about living liver donations, please call 312-695-0340
The Kovler Organ Transplantation Center
Arkes Family Pavilion
676 N. St. Clair, Suite 1900
Chicago, Illinois 60611