Living Donor Liver Transplant Foundation


Information We Needed When Facing Liver Transplant

We have gathered this content from multiple trusted resources 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 the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, the University Hospital at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center, the Cleveland Clinic, the University of California San Francisco Medical Center and the University of Washington Medical Center.  They accounted for 205 or 34% of the 603 living donor liver transplants performed in 2022.

According to UNOS, the following transplant centers did 13 or more living donor liver transplants in 2022:
Center NameLiving Donor Liver
Transplants in 2021
Living Donor Liver
Transplants in 2022
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center 7276
University Hospital, University of TX Health Sciences Center4649
Cleveland Clinic3329
University of California San Francisco Medical Center2426
University of Washington Medical Center1225
Keck Hospital of USC2624
Johns Hopkins Hospital1922
VCU Health Systems Authority, VCU Medical Center1921
New York Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center1318
Lahey Clinic Medical Center1817
Baylor University Medical Center1015
University of Colorado Hospital/Health Science Center1015
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania1614
University of Chicago Medical Center914
Intermountain Medical Center713

UNOS, April 2023. 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: