Living Donor Liver Transplant

Living donors are an important part of the care provided at NewYork-Presbyterian. The Living Donor Liver Transplant Program at NewYork-Presbyterian is one of the largest in North America.

  • Exceptional volume and experience. As one of the highest volume programs in the country, we have performed more than 330 living donor liver transplants for adult and pediatric recipients since the program's inception. Nearly half of the pediatric transplants and up to 20 percent of the adult liver transplants we perform are from living donors — far greater than the national average of 2 to 5 percent.
  • Innovative transplant programs. The transplant surgeons at NewYork-Presbyterian are advancing the field of living donor transplantation. We were the first program in the world to offer laparoscopic (minimally invasive) donor surgery. We have completed more left-lobe donations (use of the smaller lobe of the liver) and laparoscopic donations than any other living donor liver program on the continent, enabling our surgeons to remove smaller amounts of tissue, which reduces donor recovery time.
  • A track record of success. Our program achieves excellent outcomes for donors and recipients, which consistently exceed the national and expected outcomes for liver transplantation. We offer second opinions and perform living donor liver transplants to domestic and international patients. More physicians and their families have chosen NewYork-Presbyterian for their living donor liver transplant because of our reputation for having one of the best programs in the country.

Earlier Transplantation, Better Outcomes

A living donor offers the possibility of earlier transplantation to those in need. More than 18,000 people are waiting for liver transplantation, but just over 6,000 deceased donor livers become available each year. By improving access to transplantation, particularly in regions such as New York that have longer waiting lists, living donor liver transplantation may reduce a patient's risk of dying by 20 to 40 percent.

Recipients of livers from living donors generally fare better than those who receive livers from deceased donors because they are in optimal health at the time of transplant, and the tissue they receive is from a young, healthy donor.

Smaller Incisions, Faster Recovery

NewYork-Presbyterian has the only program in the country to perform living liver donor surgery via laparoscopy. We have performed more than 40 donor surgeries using fully laparoscopic approach. The benefits of the laparoscopic approach for the donor include:

  • Incisions and reduced recovery time are cut in half
  • Less pain and fatigue
  • Decreased use of pain relieving medicines
  • Reduced risk of complications
  • Faster recovery of the donor and reduced stress on the family

Swaps

Few liver transplant programs have enough experienced surgeons to do a single living donor liver transplant. At New York Presbyterian, we have enough experienced surgeons to perform paired exchanges (or swaps) between two pairs of donors and recipients. This means more chances to donate and receive a life saving organ.

Dedicated Support Services

We offer donors specialized care that is unique. We offer nutritional support, smoking cessation, weight loss guidance, and pain management for donors. Our Donor Mentoring Program enables donors to seek emotional support and advice from others who have donated. We also monitor donors for years after donation to assess their wellbeing and track their outcomes.

  • Dedicated liver donor coordinator
  • 24/7 Online donor registration
  • Separate donor and recipient teams that protect donor privacy

Contact

NewYork-Presbyterian/
Columbia University Medical Center

Center for Liver Disease and Transplantation
Phone: 877-LIVER-MD (877-548-3763)

NewYork-Presbyterian/
Weill Cornell Medical Center

Center for Liver Disease and Transplantation
Phone: 646-962-LIVER (646-962-5483)