Living Donor Liver Transplant Foundation


Information We Needed When Facing Liver Transplant

We have gathered this content from multiple websites to bring you the latest accurate information about liver donor liver transplant in the simplest format: 

Understanding Living Donor Liver Transplant:

Top US Transplant Centers for Living Donor Liver Transplant:

In terms of volume, the top five centers for living donor liver transplant are University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, the Cleveland Clinic, the University Hospital at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center, the Keck Hospital of USC and the University of California San Francisco Medical Center.

According to UNOS, the following 15 centers did 10 or more living donor liver transplants in 2021:
Center Name Number of Living Donor Liver Transplants in 2021 Number of Living Donor Liver Transplants in 2020
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center 72 91
University Hospital, University of TX Health Sciences Center 46 38
Cleveland Clinic 30 24
Keck Hospital of USC 26 19
Univ of CA San Francisco Medical Center 24 25
VCU Health System Authority VCUMC 19 17
Lahey Clinic Medical Center 18 13
Johns Hopkins Hospital 16 13
Hospital of Univ of PA 16 8
New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center 13 3
University of Washington Medical Center 12 6
Indiana University Health 12 4
Northwestern Memorial Hospital 11 9
Baylor University Medical Center 10 16
University of Colorado Hospital/Health Science Center 10 8
Source: UNOS, February 2022. UNOS’ online database, UNet, contains Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network data regarding every organ donation and transplant event occurring in the U.S. since October 1, 1987.   You can examine data nationally, by region, by state/category or by transplant center.

How to Compare Liver Transplant Centers:

The Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients allows you to find and compare the 148 liver transplant programs across the U.S. You can quickly compare them in terms of:
  • Number of deceased donor transplants in a year
  • Number of living donor transplants in a year
  • Survival on the waitlist
  • Getting a deceased donor transplant faster
  • One year liver survival rate
We recommend watching their short video: “How to Compare Transplant Programs'” to learn how to search for or compare programs.

The OPTN/SRTR Annual Data Report is a joint publication by SRTR and the UNOS staff.  The report contains detailed annual data and trends for each type of transplant along with detailed information about living donors and deceased donors. The annual report is typically published in January of each year.  Here is the 2019 report for liver.

How US Transplant Centers Are Increasing the Number of Living Donor Liver Transplants:

  • Increasing awareness of living donor liver transplant. For example, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center has developed a television commercial which airs across the country.
  • Making it safer and easier for people to donate:
    • Many transplant centers are using a laparoscopic liver donor procedure which has many benefits vs. conventional open surgery for the donor. The process is much less invasive than the conventional open surgery technique, and it significantly reduces recovery time for the living donor.  It also results in a smaller incision and scar.
  • Screening multiple donors at one time vs. one at a time in order to find a donor faster.
  • Offering paired exchange within a center (e.g. NY Presbyterian) or across multiple locations of a center (e.g. Mayo Clinic has 3 locations across MN and FL). Unlike living donor kidney transplant, paired exchanges between different centers and donor chains are rare but growing.  For example, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center performed a four part living donor liver transplant exchange/chain in April 2020.
  • Considering cross-blood type living donor transplants. South and East Asia are finding success with this type of transplant.
  • What’s Behind the Rise in Living Organ Donation? (UNOS, January 2020)

How to Find a Donor:

Latest Innovations Regarding Living Donor Liver Transplant:

  • Expanding the Number of Available Organs:
  • Progress is being made with donor liver transplant chains especially at NY Presbyterian and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
  • Transplant centers are using new ways to preserve donated organs. Rather than put them on ice after removal, they are using a machine to pump oxygen and blood through them to keep them in optimal condition.

Life After Transplant: Diet, Travel, Lifestyle, Follow-Up Care, etc: