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Living-Donor Liver Transplant

Living-Donor Liver Transplant2019-07-16T15:01:24+00:00

Our Program

The USC Living-Donor Liver Program at Keck Medicine of USC has been a pioneer in liver transplant surgery for more than 20 years. We offer patients the latest innovations in organ donation and transplant procedures, with the goal of improving outcomes and patient survival. Our medical experts combine decades of experience in both adult and pediatric liver transplant surgery with renowned achievements in groundbreaking treatment options, including bloodless transplants.

Our program has made continuous strides in living-donor liver transplants, garnering recognition for its commitment to improving and saving the lives of patients in need of a liver transplant. Anthem has designated our program a Center of Medical Excellence.

Our Approach

Our comprehensive living-donor liver program addresses the unique medical, psychological and financial needs of both the recipient and donor. Our multidisciplinary team has extensive experience treating both adult and pediatric patients, and we are fully equipped to evaluate altruistic (nondirected) living donors — donations made by people who do not share any familial or social connection with a liver transplant recipient.

Our world-renowned physicians are dedicated to making a difference in the lives of patients in need of a lifesaving liver transplant. A key goal of our living-donor liver program is preventing patients from developing fatal complications while they are on the waiting list. We are committed to raising awareness about the need for more living donors and how even one donation can make a world of difference. By combining decades of medical experience with innovative techniques and treatment options, our living-donor liver transplant program aims to improve outcomes, reduce transplant wait-list times, avoid pretransplant mortality and grant each of our patients a second chance at life.

What is a living-donor liver transplant?

A living-donor liver transplant is a procedure in which a living person donates a portion of his or her liver to another person. The donor’s liver and the portion given to the recipient regenerate to full size within a few months.

What are the benefits of a living-donor liver transplant?

While a living-donor liver transplant offers similar outcomes as a cadaveric transplant, it has a major, crucial benefit: reducing the likelihood of dying while waiting for a liver, due to complications or a shortage of cadaveric organs.

What is a MELD Score?

MELD stands for Model for End-stage Liver Disease. This score is used to determine someone’s need for a liver transplant. Doctors analyze:

  • How well the patient’s kidneys are functioning
  • How well the patient’s liver is clearing bile
  • How well the patient’s liver makes the building blocks of blood clots
  • How much sodium is in the patient’s bloodstream

Patients get a score between 6 and 40. A higher score means a more immediate need for a liver transplant. Because waiting lists for cadaveric livers in California are so long, patients need to have a high MELD Score to be considered for a transplant — in other words, patients waiting for a cadaveric liver usually become very sick before they get one and often do not survive.

When a matching living donor steps forward, it allows the recipient to undergo transplant surgery, before they become gravely ill.

How are recipients screened?

Initially, the recipient takes a blood test to see if the potential donor’s liver will be compatible with their body. The recipient then undergoes a comprehensive evaluation led by a multidisciplinary group of physicians and other health care professionals. The necessary blood work and radiologic imaging studies are obtained. The patient is then presented to a selection committee and, if no contraindications are found, is placed on the waiting list for liver transplantation.

How are living donors screened?

Living donors undergo medical, financial, social and psychological screening. Every potential donor is assigned a living-donor advocate to assure the decision to donate is voluntary.

This comprehensive evaluation includes laboratory testing and a radiologic imaging study. The donor is then presented to a selection committee for final determination of their suitability for liver donation. The goal is to make sure the process is safe for the donor.

Who is the ideal living-donor candidate?

Generally, individuals aged 18 to 65, who do not have major medical issues, are ideal candidates. Older individuals also can be considered. We encourage anyone who is interested in donating to fill out this form. If you’re not the right candidate for liver donation, you will be screened out.

What is a bloodless transplant?

A bloodless transplant is performed without a blood transfusion. This technique has long been applied to patients who have specific spiritual beliefs, but it is gaining popularity with other patients due to a reduced risk of infection and immunologic complications.

Our Physicians

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Practicing Locations

Keck Hospital of USC
USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and Hospital
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Practicing Locations

Keck Hospital of USC
USC Healthcare Center 2
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Practicing Locations

Keck Hospital of USC
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Practicing Locations

Keck Hospital of USC
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Practicing Locations

Keck Hospital of USC
USC Healthcare Center 2
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Practicing Locations

USC Healthcare Center 4
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Practicing Locations

Keck Hospital of USC
USC Healthcare Center 2
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Practicing Locations

Keck Hospital of USC
USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and Hospital

Specializing In

Transplant Surgery

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Practicing Locations

Keck Hospital of USC
USC Healthcare Center 2
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video
view profile

Practicing Locations

Keck Hospital of USC
USC Healthcare Center 1
USC Healthcare Center 2
USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and Hospital
view profile

Practicing Locations

Keck Hospital of USC
USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and Hospital
view profile

Practicing Locations

Keck Hospital of USC
view profile

Practicing Locations

Keck Hospital of USC
USC Healthcare Center 1
USC Healthcare Center 2
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Keck Medicine of USC is the University of Southern California’s medical enterprise, one of only two university-owned academic medical centers in the Los Angeles area.