A liver transplant is a surgical procedure performed to replace a diseased liver with a healthy liver from another person. The liver may come from a deceased organ donor or from a living donor. Family members or individuals who are unrelated but make a good match may be able to donate a portion of their liver. This type of transplant is called a living transplant. Individuals who donate a portion of their liver can live healthy lives with the remaining liver.
An entire liver may be transplanted, or just a section. Because the liver is the only organ in the body able to regenerate, a transplanted portion of a liver can rebuild to normal capacity within weeks.
A liver transplant is recommended for individuals who have serious liver dysfunction and will not be able to live without having the liver replaced. The most common liver disease for which transplants are done is cirrhosis. Other diseases may include the following:
Acute hepatic necrosis
Liver damage from overdose of medications toxic to the liver
As the most-experienced liver transplantation program in the western United States, UCLA serves patients from California, Oregon, Washington, and throughout the Southwest, and acts as a tertiary referral center for other transplant programs faced with particularly challenging cases.