Penn Transplant Institute

Living Donor Programs at Penn

Living donation occurs when a living person donates an organ to someone in need of a transplant. The Penn Transplant Institute has one of the largest and most experienced living donor transplant programs in the country.

The continued shortage of deceased donor organs has led to living donation. Living donors are used for kidney and liver transplants. Organs from a living donor have a better chance of long-term survival than those from a deceased donor.

Penn Medicine has been performing living donor kidney transplants since the 1960s. Living donor liver transplants began as a procedure to treat children. The anatomy of the liver allows it to be divided and a portion transplanted into another individual. The liver has the unique ability to grow and regenerate after a segment is removed. Penn began performing adult-to-adult living donor liver transplants in 1999.

The Penn Transplant Institute's Living Donor program benefits donors and recipients by:

  • Reducing the waiting period for a transplant.
  • Reducing mortality while waiting for a transplant.
  • Scheduling the procedure at a time convenient for both recipient and donor.
  • Increasing the quality of the donated organ.
  • Eliminating the time between procurement of the organ (time the kidney or liver is outside the body) and transplantation.