Expected Outcomes With Adult Living Donor Liver Transplantation
Expected outcomes with adult living donor liver transplantation include a successful adaptation of the new liver. Because the recipient's immune system may recognize the new liver as a foreign "invader," special medications are prescribed to help stop the immune system from attacking it. If a graft failure occurs, which goes against the expected outcomes with adult living donor liver transplantation, this may lead to loss of life or the need for another transplant.
Since living donor liver transplantation is a fairly new surgery, long-term results aren't available yet, especially for adult-to-adult transplants. However, the short-term results of this surgery are promising. According to data from all the transplant centers in the United States, nearly 9 out of 10 people who receive a liver from a living donor are still alive one year after their transplant. This is similar to the survival rate for those receiving a liver from a deceased donor.
It's also important to know that the person receiving the liver transplant will need to take special medications for the rest of his or her life. These medications work to stop the immune system from attacking the new liver. However, even with these medications, some liver recipients will still have problems with the new liver.
When a new liver doesn't work correctly once it's inside the recipient, it's called "graft failure." It's impossible to predict who will have graft failure and who won't. In up to 5 out of 100 cases, graft failure either causes loss of life or makes another liver transplant necessary.