The liver is considered the most complicated and metabolically active organ in our body. However, it can also continue functioning even when 70% of its tissue is removed because it can regenerate itself. When a liver donor donates more than half of his/her liver for transplantation, the remaining part can resume its function without any loss or serious complication due to this regenerative ability and both the transplanted section and the remaining section of the donor’s liver are able to regrow into a normal-sized liver.
The liver can become damaged as a result of illness, infection or alcohol. This damage causes the liver to become scarred and it is known as cirrhosis. Some of the most common causes of liver damage and cirrhosis in are: Hepatitis C, Alcoholic cirrhosis, Primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC), Autoimmune liver disease, Hepatitis B, Fat build up in the liver and hereditary liver diseases.
Even when inflammations related to alcohol consumption or fatty liver disease, hepatitis infections, long-term congestions or stones of the bile ducts, certain metabolic diseases, tumors, or congenital enzyme deficiencies are present, patients can continue a normal life for a long time as long as the progress of the disease is slow. But once the liver insufficiency becomes manifest pointing out that it cannot fulfill the body’s needs, this condition, called “liver failure” or “end-stage liver disease”, and leaves a liver transplant as the only option for the patient.
The growing demand for deceased donor organs for patients awaiting liver transplantation has prompted the development and practice of living donor liver transplantation. In this case the patient must provide the donor and both must undergo considerable tests to ensure compatibility and good health, minimizing risks. A liver transplant team evaluates every patient in detail in order to determine if they would benefit from a transplant, if they are strong enough for surgery and mentally and emotionally ready for a transplant and explains the whole selection, operation and recovery process.
Medical Advantage Barcelona is proud to be working with the expertise of the living donor liver transplant team led by Juan Carlos García-Valdecasas, MD, PhD., Professor of Surgery at the University of Barcelona and Head of the General and Digestive Surgery Service and the Liver Transplant Unit. He specializes in Live Donor Liver Transplants and is one of the world´s leading names in hepatobiliopancreatic surgeries. Since 1988 when he performed his first liver transplant, his institution has performed more than 1700, being one of the most active centers in Europe. The Unit performs any type of transplant, pioneering either living or non-heart beating (deceased) donation liver transplantation in Spain. His Group is currently a world reference in DCD Donation and one of the most experienced in the world in the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma.
The Liver Transplant Program has also received the ISO 9001 quality certificate awarded by AENOR.
Benefits of living donor liver transplantation
- Provided with a timely alternative to the transplant waiting list, surgery can be scheduled ahead of time allowing recipients and donors to plan their absence from home and work.
- Eliminating the waiting time, the risk of suffering from further complications is reduced.
- Living donors identified by recipients undergo considerable tests to ensure compatibility and good health and minimize risks.
- Living donor transplants involving partial organ donation from blood related relatives offers recipients a better genetic match and helps to reduce the risk of organ rejection.
- Donor surgery is performed using the very latest in minimally invasive technology and techniques.
- Partial organs are grafted immediately after extraction to ensure the organ remains in optimum condition.
- Barnaclinic results indicate recipient survival rates to be at 95% at 1 year post surgery and 75% at 10 years.
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