Quality of life and psychiatric complications after adult living donor liver transplantation



We investigated the psychosocial effects of a right hepatectomy on donors for adult living donor liver transplantation (ALDLT). Questionnaires were sent to 66 actual donors, who had undergone ALDLT between August 1998 and September 2003, as well as to 139 potential donors, who had been examined as possible candidates for ALDLT; the latter had been excluded and had not undergone surgery. All actual donors reported full recovery within an average period of 14.41 (standard deviation = 8.86) weeks; all had returned to their preoperative employment. In preparation for ALDLT, they had received significantly more support from their families in the decision-making process than the potential donors had (t = 2.02; degree of freedom = 79; P = 0.047); they also felt better informed about donation than the potential donors (t = 2.04; df = 64; P = 0.045). Psychiatric problems occurred in 6 (14%) female donors in the perioperative period, mostly in connection with unrealistic outcome expectations. Donors with severe postoperative complications (n = 3) demonstrated higher scores of psychiatric symptoms (chi-square = 6.39; df = 2; P = 0.041). When we compared potential and actual donors, a significant difference in emotional quality of life was not demonstrated (t = 0.41; df = 76; P = 0.684), and it corresponded to that of the normative sample. For donors, perceived emotional quality of life did not depend on the course of recovery of the recipients. Six to 9 months after donation, potential donors reported a significantly higher physical quality of life than actual donors (t = 2.20; df = 56; P = 0.032). In conclusion, female donors, donors with their own major complications, or donors with unrealistic outcome expectations should be provided with adequate psychosocial care. With regard to the psychosocial outcome, ALDLT is a safe intervention for the donor. Liver Transpl 12:1782–1790, 2006. © 2006 AASLD.