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What is a Living Donor Transplant?

Living donor liver transplantation can be an alternative to deceased donor liver transplantation for some patients on the waiting list. The ideal candidates are patients who foresee a long wait on the deceased transplant list and experience complications of liver disease, such as ascites and encephalopaty and patients diagnosed with hepatocellular carcinoma.

Living donor liver transplantation requires an operation to remove a portion of a healthy person's liver and put it into a person who has a sick liver. The liver has a right and left side that functions as a unit, although it can be separated in surgery. During a hepatectomy, the liver is divided and either the right or left side is removed and donated for transplant. Within approximately 6-8 weeks both half- livers (of donor and recipient) will grow to full size.


What are the Benefits?

Living donor liver transplantation may be an option to any person who is presently on the liver transplant waiting list. Living donor liver transplantation offers immediate organ availability and is a planned operation which can avoid the progression of the recipient's disease and its life threatening complications. Additionally:

  • A living donor liver is the best quality liver.
  • A living donor transplant will eliminate the long wait time on the national deceased donor waiting list.
  • Living donation maximizes the chance for a recipient to receive a transplant before a recipient’s condition dramatically worsens.
  • The surgery can be timed for optimal health of the recipient and for donor convenience.


The Team

Dr. Giuliano Testa is the Surgical Director of Living Donor Liver Transplantation at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas. Dr. Testa specializes in living donor liver transplantation for adult patients and has been performing living donor liver transplants for more than a decade. That experience combined with the expertise of the living liver donor transplant team broadens the Simmons Transplant Institute's services and offers liver transplant patients hope for better outcomes and improved quality of life. Other members of the Baylor multidisciplinary team for the living liver donor include:

  • Surgeon
  • Hepatologist
  • Physician Advocate
  • Living Donor Advocate
  • Living Donor Transplant Coordinator
  • Social Workers
  • Transplant Nurses

 Dr. Testa speaks about who can be a Living Liver Transplant Donor.




To find out who can be a living liver donor, what to expect during and after surgery visit Baylor Living Donor Liver Transplant Program page.


​Living Liver Donor Resources


Living Liver Donor Brochure (English)

Living Liver Donor Brochure (Spanish)