Living Donor Liver Transplantation

The Living Donor Liver Transplant program at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital is one of the largest living donor liver programs in North America. We have performed more than 220 living donor liver transplants since its inception. We have performed more left lobe donations than any other living donor liver program in North America and introduced fully laparoscopic donation for all pediatric liver donor liver transplants in 2009.

Register to become a living liver donor.

Our program achieves excellent outcomes for donors and recipients. Our recipients, according to the most recent SRTR data, have 97.1 % one year survival after transplantation and a three year survival of 93.3%. Additionally, nearly all donors are very satisfied or satisfied with donating. While great results are critical, we view caring for the whole donor as central to our mission. Thus we offer specialized nursing, nutritional support, smoking cessation, weight loss and pain management.

Columbia's Jean C. Emond, MD, was a member of the team that pioneered living donor liver transplantation, which is now considered one of the most important advances in the treatment of severe liver disease. Approximately 15-20% of the center's transplant patients currently receive a liver from a living donor. Dr. Benjamin Samstein has led the program since 2008, introducing laparoscopy.

Dr. Robert Brown – What is a living donor liver transplantation?

Unique strengths of the program

  • Full time living donor liver transplant coordinator, Darby Santamour
  • Specialized donor nurses who are trained in donor care and are sensitive to the special needs of donors
  • Donor Mentoring program which provides emotional support and advice from people who have donated
  • Laparoscopic approach to all donation which enables smaller incisions and faster recovery
  • Fully laparoscopic surgery for donation to child
  • Outcomes that well exceed the national outcomes and expected outcomes for liver transplantation
  • Active participation in the NIH national trial in understanding outcomes of donors and recipients of live donor liver transplantation
  • Follow up of donors for years after donation

Read personal stories about living donor liver transplantation at the CLDT.

Register to become a living liver donor.

If you are interested in being evaluated for liver donation and want additional information, please contact the CLDT by calling our toll-free number for referrals and consultations, 1.877.LIVER MD (1.877.548.3763).

The Procedure

The living donor may be an adult not directly related to the recipient, or a family member. The donor is carefully evaluated by the transplant team to ensure the donation would harm neither donor nor recipient.

For the transplant, either the right lobe or the left lobe of the donor's liver is removed from the donor and implanted in the recipient. The portion of the donor liver selected depends on the size of the donor and recipient and the blood supply to the liver. Both segments (the remaining section of the donor's liver, and the portion received by the patient) will regenerate and grow to fit the needs of each individual. Click here to learn about living donor transplantation and becoming a living donor.

About the National Living Donor Assistance Center

The National Living Donor Assistance Center (NLDAC), established by the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), provides financial assistance to those who want to donate an organ. The program covers travel, lodging, meals and incidental expenses incurred by the donor and/or accompanying person(s) as part of:

  1. Donor evaluation, clinic visit or hospitalization,
  2. Hospitalization for the living donor surgical procedure, and/or
  3. Medical or surgical follow-up clinic visit or hospitalization within 90 days following the living donation procedure.

The program will pay for a total of up to five trips; three for the donor and two for accompanying persons. The accompanying persons need not be the same each trip. Priority is given to individuals not otherwise able to afford the travel and subsistence expenses associated with living organ donation.

To learn more see: