Receiving a liver
Find out what you need to know about donation issues and liver transplantation
- Most livers are donated by deceased donors
- A small number of livers are donated by living donors
- There are more people waiting for liver transplants than there are donors
- All donated organs carry some risk, but this is generally lower than the risk of your liver disease
Types of liver donor
The majority of livers that are suitable for transplantation in the UK come from donors that have died (deceased donors). Approximately three quarters (75 in 100) of deceased donors are from donors who have been declared dead through brain testing. The remaining quarter (25 in 100) are from donors whose hearts have stopped beating.
The anatomy of the liver means that it is possible to remove part of it from a living person. The removed part can then be transplanted into a patient with end-stage liver disease. Currently, 3 in 100 liver transplants performed in the UK are from living donors and the majority of these are for children.