Concern remains regarding the possibly higher risk to living liver donors of the right lobe (RL), as compared with the left lateral segment (LLS). We studied outcomes and responses to quality of life (QOL) surveys in the two groups.
From 1997 to 2004, we performed 49 living donor liver transplants (LDLTs): 33 RL and 16 LLS. Notable differences included a higher proportion of female and unrelated donors in the RL group. A significantly larger liver mass was resected in RL (vs. LLS) donors: 720 (vs. 310) g, p = 0.01; RL donors also had greater blood loss (398 vs. 240 mL, p = 0.04) and operative times (7.2 vs. 5.7 h, p = 0.05). However, those findings did not translate into significant differences in donor morbidity. The complication rate was 12.5% in LLS donors and 9.1% in RL donors (p = ns). Per a QOL survey at 6 months postdonation, no significant differences were noted in SF-12 scores for the two groups. Recovery times were somewhat longer for RL donors. Mean time off work was 61.0 days for RL donors and 32.4 days for LLS donors (p = 0.004).
RL donation is associated with greater operative stress for donors, but not necessarily with a more complicated recovery or differences in QOL.