Living Donor Liver Transplant Issues
Living donor liver transplant issues to consider include a leave of absence from work that results in lost wages; potential increase in insurance premiums; and the possibility of financial difficulties due to travel expenses, hotel expenses, and lack of work. If your medical evaluation discovers health problems that you didn't know about beforehand, you may be less eligible to receive health, life, or disability insurance in the future.
There are a few important issues to be aware of when considering liver donor evaluation and surgery.
According to U.S. law, you are not allowed to receive money or any other type of payment in exchange for being a liver donor. However, in some cases, donors may be reimbursed for travel expenses, hotel expenses, and any lost wages related to the transplant surgery.
Check with your employer about taking time off work for the surgery and recovery period. Also, find out whether you will be getting a paycheck during this time. If you have a desk job, you may be able to return to work when you feel up to it. However, if you do heavy lifting or other physical labor, you won't be able to return to work until your body has healed enough to handle the strain. If you have problems during or after your surgery, it may take longer to get back to work.
If money is tight while you're away from work, you may have to get money from your savings or investments, borrow money from family members, or use a credit card to get you through this time.
If you do experience financial difficulties, be sure to talk to the social worker on your transplant team. He or she can give you advice for working through these issues and answer any questions you may have.