Is It Possible To Donate Your Liver While Alive?

By: Chandana Rao

William James, an American philosopher and psychologist once said "Is life worth living? It all depends on the liver".

Well, the above quote essentially preaches that the liver is one of the most important organs of the body, in most living beings, without which a person cannot stay alive!

Now, some of us may already know that the human body is made up of various organs and tissues, including the vital organs.

organ donation facts

Brain, heart, liver, lungs and kidneys are the five vital organs in a human's body.

These organs are aptly termed "vital", because without even one of these organs functioning well, a person could suffer from serious diseases.

For example, even if a person's heart does not pump blood even for a few seconds, it could result in fatal heart attacks!

If the brain functions are not carried out the normal way, it could result in memory loss, confusion, etc., hampering the daily routine of a person.

Also Read: Facts About Organ Donation You Need To Know

In worst cases, if a person's vital organs are damaged beyond repair, due to diseases or accidents, then it could even cause death.

So, vital organs are very important for a human to lead a healthy life and even to stay alive!

Now, many a times, vital organs can get damaged by certain diseases, injuries or accidents.

So, in such cases, if it is not too late, then organ transplants are done, in order to save a person's life.

Organ transplantation is a highly complicated and advanced medical procedure in which surgeons remove a healthy vital organ from one body and place it into another body which is in need of that particular organ, for survival.

Now, some organs like the brain, heart, etc., cannot be transplanted unless the donor has passed away.

So, can the liver be transplanted while a donor is still alive? With the Organ Donation Day just around, let us find out.

organ donation facts

Liver Donation While Alive
To answer the question - Can a living person donate a liver? - yes, he can.

The kidneys and the liver are the only two organs which can be donated to a person in need by a living donor.

A person can function with just one kidney, so kidney donation may still be possible while he/she is alive; however, a human has only one liver, so how is it possible?

Well, a person can only donate a small portion of his liver and not the entire organ, if he is donating while he is still alive.

The liver cells have the capacity to regenerate, so once a portion of the liver is transplanted to the patient, it regenerates into a fairly healthy organ.

Even the donor's liver can regenerate once the donation is made.

However, to donate a liver while alive, certain conditions have to be met.

A person has to be healthy and devoid of any contagious diseases.

The person must also be aware that donating a portion of the liver always involves risks.

So, one must always talk to a doctor before considering a donation and learn all about the procedure involved and also the potential risks.

Read more about: donation, liver
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