Living Donor Organ Transplant

Living liver donor patients

Why are living kidney and liver donations important?

The majority of organ transplants in the United States come from deceased donors. However, unlike a heart or lung, a liver segment or whole kidney can be donated by a healthy, living donor. This significantly reduces a patient's time on the waiting list. When an organ or segment of an organ is removed from a living donor, it is given to the recipient within hours, resulting in immediate function, fewer complications and significantly shorter hospital stays. These organs, especially kidneys, appear to last two to three times longer than organs from deceased donors. So, patients benefit from shorter wait times, better surgical results and a longer-lasting transplanted organ.

Living Donor Frequently Asked Questions

What is involved in the living donor evaluation process?

A potential living organ donor goes through a detailed evaluation, including blood tests, imaging studies such as CT scans and X-rays, and meetings with the transplant team. These tests and consultations help us determine if the individual can safely become a living donor and rule out any barriers that would prevent a person from donating. Safety is always the primary concern.

Are there risks to living donation surgery?

As with any major surgery, organ donation surgery has minor risks of complications such as bleeding, infection or issues with the incision. A team of surgeons, physicians and independent donor advocates focuses only on donor safety, without bias or influence from the recipient’s transplant team, even when the donor and recipient are related.

Are you eligible to be a living donor?

This questionnaire is for friends, family and others who are considering being a living donor.

Take our living donor questionnaire

How does UChicago Medicine make surgery safer for living organ donors?

Our transplant surgeons use the most advanced techniques to procure the organ from the donor. When removing a portion of a healthy liver, we use a hybrid approach: the first step in the operation is done laparoscopically with smaller incisions, followed by an open surgery. We offer two types of kidney donation (nephrectomy) procedures: laparoscopic or robotic with three small incisions and a larger incision for organ removal, and a nearly scarless approach with only one small incision hidden in the belly button. These minimally invasive techniques reduce pain, and shorten the hospital stay and overall recovery time.

Call 1-773-702-4500 to speak to a living donor transplant coordinator 

Laparoscopic Donor Nephrectomy at UChicago Medicine

Dr. Rolf Barth explains a minimally invasive kidney donor transplant surgery that leaves a small scar in the belly button.

single port nephrectomy
Watch Video

Chicagoland Transplant Care Locations

Request an Appointment

The information you provide will enable us to assist you as efficiently as possible. A representative will contact you within one to two business days to help you schedule an appointment.

You can also make an appointment with our providers by:

Scheduling a virtual video visit to see a provider from the comfort of your home

Requesting an online second opinion from our specialists 

To speak to someone directly, please call 1-773-702-4500. If you have symptoms of an urgent nature, please call your doctor or go to the emergency room immediately.


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