Living-donor liver transplant
If you’re receiving a liver transplant from a living donor, surgeons will transplant a portion of the donor’s liver in your body.
Surgeons first operate on the donor, removing the portion of the liver for transplant. Then surgeons remove your diseased liver and place the donated liver portion in your body. They then connect your blood vessels and bile ducts to the new liver.
The transplanted liver portion in your body and the portion left behind in the donor’s body regenerate rapidly, reaching normal volume within a couple months.
After a liver transplant, doctors will test your liver function often and monitor you for signs of complications.
After your liver transplant, you can expect to:
. Possibly stay in the intensive care unit for a few days. Doctors and nurses will monitor your condition to watch for signs of complications. They’ll also test your liver function frequently for signs that your new liver is working.
. Spend 5 to 10 days in the hospital. Once you’re stable, you’re taken to a transplant recovery area to continue recuperating.
. Have frequent checkups as you continue recovering at home. Your transplant team designs a checkup schedule for you. You may undergo blood tests a few times each week at first and then less often over time.
. Take medications for the rest of your life. You’ll take a number of medications after your liver transplant, many for the rest of your life. Drugs called immunosuppressants help keep your immune system from attacking your new liver. Other drugs help reduce the risk of other complications after your transplant.