Penn Transplant Institute

Living Liver Donor Program

The Penn Transplant Institute performed its first adult-to-adult living donor liver transplant in 1999 and is the most experienced program in the Philadelphia region.

The number of patients awaiting liver transplant has grown dramatically while the supply of donor livers has not. This has led to longer waiting times, progressive loss of health for those on the waiting lists and an increase in the number of patients who die while waiting for a liver transplant. This critical shortage of deceased donor livers for adults has increased the need to consider living donor liver transplantation, where healthy adults can donate a portion of their liver to patients needing a liver transplant.

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.

Benefits of living donor liver transplantation at the Penn Transplant Institute include:

  • Established track record of superb patient and graft survival
  • Penn is one of only nine centers of excellence that are participants in the National Institutes of Health-sponsored Adult-to-Adult Living Donor Liver Transplant consortium (A2ALL) that explores outcomes in living donor transplantation.
  • An opportunity for transplantation in a more timely fashion and at a lower Model for End-stage Liver Disease (MELD) score – eliminating the long wait for a deceased donor
  • An experienced multidisciplinary team for evaluation, education, and follow-up
  • Penn transplant surgeons are leading experts and lecture throughout the country about living donor transplantation.
  • Cutting-edge research in liver regeneration, minimization of immunosuppression medications in the recipients and long-term quality of life issues in the donor

Anyone interested in beginning the evaluation process to be a living liver donor, please complete theĀ Living Donor Health Screening Questionnaire or contact the Penn Living Donor Transplant Team by calling 215-662-6200.