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How to Become a Living Liver Donor

Living liver donation can save the life of a patient who may otherwise never receive a liver transplant. Becoming a living liver donor is a major commitment. At the Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Transplant Center, our living liver donor experts are leaders in transplant care.  We partner with donors to maximize their impact and save lives. 

Living Liver Donation: What You Need to Know

Every year, hundreds of people decide to donate a portion of their liver to a friend, family member or even a stranger who desperately needs it. Living liver donation saves lives. 

Consider this:

  • The need for liver donors: There are thousands more people waiting for a liver transplant than there are deceased organs suitable for transplant. Living liver donation helps fill this gap.
  • Our liver donation experts: Our living liver donation program is led by highly trained surgeons who have decades of experience performing intricate transplant surgeries, on children and adults. We perform more than 100 liver transplants every year. We offer an exceptional level of expertise found at only a handful of centers nationwide. Find out more about our living donor liver transplant program.
  • Our streamlined living donation process: A dedicated member of our team guides potential donors through the evaluation and donor process, moving at a donor’s preferred pace. Our team provides ample information to the donor throughout the process and consideration for your health and safety is always a priority. Learn more about liver donor requirements and evaluation process.

Benefits of Living Liver Donation

Living liver donor transplants allow some patients to receive a liver transplant much sooner than they otherwise would. Living liver donation can also make transplant possible for patients with certain types of liver cancer who are ineligible for deceased donor organs. Our team maximizes donors’ impact while minimizing the donor’s risks. 

Living liver donor benefits include:

  • Shorter transplant process: Patients with a living donor can bypass the national waitlist and receive a liver transplant sooner. Our streamlined liver donation process means a recipient could receive a transplant within weeks of identifying a donor.
  • Healthier transplant recipients: A living liver donor transplant may help some patients avoid the medical complications that can result from a longer wait for liver transplant.
  • Transplant options for liver cancer: Living liver donor transplant makes transplantation possible for certain patients who don’t meet the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) criteria for liver transplant. This includes some patients with early or advanced liver cancers who may benefit from a transplant. Learn more about liver cancer transplant options.
  • Improved long-term transplant success: Living liver transplant surgery offers higher long-term success rates than liver transplant with a deceased donor organ.
  • Minimal risks for donors: Living liver donation requires a major surgery and careful consideration. Our team’s extensive experience in liver donation surgery and transplant care means we successfully perform the most complex liver surgeries. We precisely plan every detail of your surgery, prioritizing donors’ health and safety to minimize risks. The vast majority of donors have an uncomplicated recovery, live a normal life and move on to bigger and better things in the years after liver donation. Learn more about liver donation surgery and recovery.

Contact Us

For more information about the living liver donor program at the Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Transplant Center, call 888.995.4780.