Transplant Advances


Advances in Transplant

Living Donor Liver Transplant

As one of the largest and most experienced programs in North America, the Center for Liver Disease and Transplantation at NewYork-Presbyterian has performed more than 400 living donor liver transplantations for adult and pediatric recipients. As the United States faces a major organ shortage, many patients with severe liver disease will not even make it to the waiting list. As one of 20 centers in the United States who perform more than 20 living donor liver transplants per year, NewYork-Presbyterian is helping to expand the donor pool by advocating for living donations.

Living Donations

Studies show that because living donor transplants are performed at an optimal time for the recipient, they are associated with better outcomes have greater longevity than deceased donor transplants. A landmark study published in 2011 showed the impressive survival benefit of patients who were transplanted with a living donation. Since then, our center has continued to advance the use of living donor liver transplants and in 2019, we performed a greater proportion of overall transplants than ever before, largely owing to the use of living donations.

Pioneers in the Field

Our transplant surgeons are pioneers in the field and continue to advance techniques to improve outcomes and safety in both donors and recipients. We led the groundbreaking NIH Adult-to-Adult Living Donor Liver Transplantation consortium and published more than 30 safety and outcomes papers from our experience with living donor liver transplants at NewYork-Presbyterian. We were the first program in the world to offer laparoscopic donor surgery and have pioneered many of the laparoscopic techniques that are currently used today for liver removal.

Laparoscopic Leaders

As one of the few programs in the United States to offer fully laparoscopic living liver donations, we continue to advance laparoscopic liver removal techniques. We have the highest number of laparoscopic left-lobe donations in North America and shared our experience of left-lobe adult-to-adult living donor liver transplantation in a seminal study published in 2016. Because our laparoscopic incisions measure about 10 cm compared to a standard incision of about 45 cm, donors report less pain, shorter hospital stays, less blood loss, accelerated recovery, and improved quality of life compared with traditional transplantation methods.

Pediatric Population

We are also leading the development of the laparoscopic liver donation program in the pediatric population. In a comparative study, we found that fully laparoscopic left-sided donor hepatectomy was associated with less blood loss, shorter hospital stays, and a faster return to work than open/hybrid hepatectomy. Notably, the laparoscopic approach has been shown to be an important factor for a donor parent seeking to return to the bedside of a transplant recipient child.

Learn more about our living donor liver transplant program.

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