During a liver donation surgery, part of your liver is removed and transplanted into another person. You must go through a medical evaluation process prior to the surgery to ensure that you meet certain donor requirements. Criteria for making a donation include being in good health, having the right blood type, and having a liver that is large enough to support both you and the recipient.
There are several reasons why people decide to donate an organ such as a liver. However, most people tend to decide whether to donate before they even learn about the process. It is important for people to learn as much as possible before making such an important decision for themselves and their loved ones.
Going through the evaluation process doesn't guarantee that you will be able to donate part of your liver. Only people who meet certain requirements are able to donate. These criteria include:
- Being in good health
- Having the right blood type
- Having a liver that's the right size (it has to be large enough to support both you and the recipient).
Donating a liver is a two-step process. The first step involves having a medical evaluation to make sure you are healthy enough for the surgery and to see if your liver is a good match for the person receiving it (see Liver Donation Evaluation).
If you meet the requirements for donating, the second step is the actual transplant surgery (see Liver Donation Surgery).
Before you decide whether to be evaluated as a possible liver donor, your healthcare providers will want you to know more about:
- Your rights as an organ donor
- The evaluation process itself
- The risks, potential benefits, and expected results of this surgery (both for you and the person receiving part of your liver)
- The alternatives to donating part of your liver
- The expected recovery process
- The other ways a liver transplant may affect you and your loved ones.