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Liver donors can thrive after transplant

Contrary to belief that donating liver can injure the donor, it is now established without doubt that a living person can donate a part of his liver to a person needing it. And the good news is that the donor would continue to live well and thrive after donating part of his/her liver.

Donation of a piece of the liver's right lobe from one adult to another is a relatively new procedure. It is increasingly being performed in the West where the demand for donated organs often outstrips the supply. However, potential donors are strictly screened to make sure that the procedure does as little harm as possible to their health.

People in need of liver donations include those with livers damaged by hepatitis C, cancer, alcohol consumption or primary biliary cirrhosis, a disease of the liver and bile ducts. Potential liver donors are generally limited to family members, spouses or close friends. While an exact genetic match between donor and recipient isn't required, blood type must be matching.

Dr. Elizabeth Pomfret, director of live donor liver transplantation at the Lahey Clinic Medical Center in Burlington, Massachusetts and her team, conducted a study into the post liver transplant scenario- from both the donor’s angle and the recipient’s angle.

She found that all the donors continued to live and thrive after the transplant in which a part of all donors’ liver were removed and transplanted to a recipient’s body. After the surgery, the donors regenerated 80% of their liver in a month’s time and 90% of their liver in a year’stime.

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