The living donor experience: Donor health assessment and outcomes after living donor liver transplantation



Despite the increasing use of living donor liver transplantation, little is known about donor needs, concerns, and experiences. The goal of this study is to assess morbidity associated with living donation from a donor perspective, functional status after donation, and overall satisfaction with the donation process. We surveyed all living donors (LDs) from our center. Demographics, perioperative experience, and satisfaction with donation were assessed. The Medical Outcomes Study 12-Item Short-Form Survey (SF-12), a well-validated tool, measured overall health-related quality of life. Of 27 subjects eligible for the study, 27 subjects (100%) participated. Forty percent reported an event they deemed an immediate complication, of which 60% were recorded in the medical record. Complications requiring readmission were reported by 22%. Mean recovery time was 12 weeks (range, 1 to 52 weeks). No significant change was reported in physical activity, social activity, or emotional stability, and 92% of donors resumed their predonation occupation. Regardless of recipient outcome, 100% of donors would donate again and recommend donation to someone in contemplation. All surveyed LDs at our institution are satisfied with their donation decision. Morbidity in the first year after donation may be greater than previously appreciated. Despite complications, postoperative functional status of donors is equal to or better than population norms.