Health History Questionnaire

Interested in being a living kidney or liver donor? Start the process by completing a Health History Questionnaire.

A liver transplant is a surgical procedure that removes a liver that no longer functions properly (liver failure) and replaces it with a healthy liver from a living or deceased donor.

Your liver is your largest internal organ and performs several critical functions, including:

  • Removing bacteria and toxins from the blood
  • Preventing infection and regulating immune responses
  • Processing nutrients, medications and hormones
  • Producing bile, which helps the body absorb fats, cholesterol and fat-soluble vitamins
  • Making proteins that help the blood clot

Liver transplant is usually reserved as a treatment option for people who have significant complications due to end-stage chronic liver disease. In rare cases, sudden failure of a previously normal liver may occur.

The number of people waiting for a liver transplant greatly exceeds the number of available deceased-donor livers.

The human liver regenerates and returns to its normal size shortly after surgical removal of part of the organ. This makes living-donor liver transplant an alternative to waiting for a deceased-donor liver to become available.

In 2014, about 7,200 liver transplants were performed in the U.S. among both adults and children. Of those, about 330 involved livers from living donors. At the same time, nearly 15,000 people were registered on the waiting list for a liver transplant.

Mayo Clinic’s approach

Sept. 24, 2016
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  2. Liver transplant. American Liver Foundation. http://www.liverfoundation.org/abouttheliver/info/transplant/. Accessed June 13, 2016.
  3. What I need to know about liver transplantation. National Institute for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/livertransplant_ez/. Accessed June 13, 2016.
  4. Questions & answers for transplant candidates about MELD and PELD. United Network for Organ Sharing. http://www.unos.org/docs/MELD_PELD. Accessed May 28, 2014.
  5. Liver Kaplan-Meier patient survival rates for transplants performed: 1997-2004. Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network. https://optn.transplant.hrsa.gov/data/view-data-reports/national-data/#. Accessed May 28, 2016.
  6. Selecting a hospital. United Network for Organ Sharing http://www.transplantliving.org/before-the-transplant/getting-on-the-list/selecting-a-hospital/. Accessed June 13, 2016.
  7. Dove LM, et al. Liver transplantation in adults: Patient selection and pretransplantation evaluation. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 13, 2016.
  8. Bambha K, et al. Model for End-stage Liver Disease (MELD). http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 13, 2016.
  9. Cotler S. Living donor liver transplantation. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 13, 2016.
  10. Partnering with your transplant team: The patient's guide to transplantation. United Network for Organ Sharing. https://www.unos.org/wp-content/uploads/unos/WEPNTK.pdf. Accessed March 11, 2016.
  11. Kim WR, et al. OPTN/SRTR 2014 annual data report: Liver. American Journal of Transplantation. 2016;16:11.
  12. Barbara Woodward Lips Patient Education Center. Liver transplant. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2013.
  13. Glorioso JM, et al. Pivotal preclinical trial of the spheroid reservoir bioartificial liver. Journal of Hepatology. 2015;63:388.
  14. Yu Y, et al. Cell therapies for liver diseases. Liver Transplantation. 2012;18:9.
  15. Taner T, et al. Decreased chronic cellular and antibody-mediated injury in the kidney following simultaneous liver-kidney transplantation. Kidney International. 2016;89:909.
  16. De Assuncao TM, et al. Development and characterization of human-induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cholangiocytes. Laboratory Investigation. 2015;95:684.
  17. Croome KP, et al. The use of donation after cardiac death allografts does not increase recurrence of hepatocellular carcinoma. American Journal of Transplantation. 2015;15:2704.
  18. Tincani G, et al. Operative risks of domino liver transplantation for the familial amyloid polyneuropathy liver donor and recipient: A double analysis. American Journal of Transplantation. 2011;11:750.
  19. Kitchens WH. Domino liver transplantation: Indications, techniques, and outcomes. Transplantation Reviews. 2011;25:167.
  20. Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients. http://www.srtr.org/default.aspx. Accessed April 11, 2016.
  21. Heimbach JK (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 19, 2016.