Your liver is the largest organ in your body and a vital part of your digestive system. It supports almost every other organ in your body, and thus it is impossible for a person to survive without a healthy, functioning liver. 

A liver transplant may be needed if a patient has end-stage liver disease. A living liver donor is an individual who gives part of their liver to someone with liver failure who needs a liver transplant. 

For more people to take part in the initiative, it is important to spread awareness and bust some common myths and misconceptions regarding living liver donation. Let’s have a look at these myths and facts. 

Myths And Facts About Living Liver Donation

1. Myth: Only a relative by blood can donate a liver.

Fact: You do not have to be related to somebody by blood to receive or donate a liver. A living liver donor must have a suitable blood type, although not necessarily the same blood type as the recipient. The recipient’s blood type determines which blood types are compatible. A liver from a donor with an O blood group can be given to anybody. 

2. Myth: Donors must take medication for the rest of their life following donation.

Fact: Medications are required for the first few weeks following the surgery or donation for living donors. This is only a one-time requirement.

3. Myth: After donating a liver, donors have a constrained or restricted lifestyle.

Fact: Donors enjoy a regular life after recovery, with no restrictions on their activities.

4. Myth: Members of the transplant team may put pressure on someone to donate their organs.

Fact: During the evaluation process, donors have the option to change their minds about the donation or surgery at any time. If a donor chooses not to donate, they are not responsible for informing the receiver.

5. Myth: After donating their liver, female donors are unable to bear children.

Fact: Female donors can have healthy pregnancies post-donation. But it is recommended to postpone the pregnancy by at least 1 year after the donation.

6. Myth: Living liver donation is a lengthy procedure.

Fact: Living liver donation is intended to help a sick patient who cannot afford to wait for a deceased donor. Hence, it is not a lengthy procedure at all. It is just the evaluation time taken to elicit the medical history, achieve adequate fitness for surgery, and get compatibility tests done.

7. Myth: Donors can die during donation surgery.

Fact: Studies have shown that the implantation process for the recipient is more complicated. However, there are a few risks to the donor such as bleeding, infection, need for blood transfusion, etc. The mortality rate for donors is approximately 0.2 to 0.5% (worldwide), a very rare outcome but an important piece of information for donors to consider,  while the mortality rate for recipients waiting for deceased donors is between 20 to 30% (worldwide).

Choosing to be an organ donor is a big step. Do your research thoroughly and consult credible sources for facts to make an informed decision. 

Disclaimer: This article is written by the Practitioner for informational and educational purposes only. The content presented on this page should not be considered as a substitute for medical expertise. Please "DO NOT SELF-MEDICATE" and seek professional help regarding any health conditions or concerns. Practo will not be responsible for any act or omission arising from the interpretation of the content present on this page.