Risks from the donated liver

Find out what factors can affect the health of a donated liver

Key points

  • All donated livers carry some risk, though in general this is much lower than the risks posed by your liver disease
  • Some livers are likely to work for longer than others
  • It is possible for diseases to be passed to you through the donated liver
  • Many donor-related factors can affect how well the transplant works

All donated livers carry some risk

Generally, the risks from a donated liver are much lower than the risk posed by your liver disease. But the risks vary from donor to donor, as some are healthier than others.

Some livers are likely to work for longer than others. This might be because of the way the donor died, health problems the donor had, or problems that arise during or after surgery.

This means that you and your transplant team may need to make a difficult decision about whether or not a particular liver is right for you.

Factors that can affect the health of a donated liver

There are many donor-related factors that could affect how well the transplant works.

How can the donor’s medical history affect your liver transplant?

These are many donor health issues that could affect how well a transplant works.

What happens if your donor is found to have health issues?

Your liver transplant team will tell you if there are significant concerns about the donor’s previous health or lifestyle that may lead to risks for you. You will be told how this might affect your health and how well a transplanted liver from this donor might work.

What do you need to know about your donor?

More information

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