Living Donor Adult Liver Transplantation: A Longitudinal Study of the Donor's Quality of Life


  • Portions of this work were presented at the American Transplant Conference, May 14–19, 2004.


We report the results of a prospective, longitudinal quality of life survey on our adult right lobe (RL) liver donors. A total of 47 donors were enrolled; a standard SF-36 form and 43 questions developed by our team were completed before donation, at 1 week, and 1, 3, 6 and 12 months after donation. There were no donor deaths. Twenty-nine complications occurred in 16 patients. Major complication rate was 12.8%. Employment status and personal finances were identified as major stressors. All donors who wished to return to work did so by 1 year (mean 3.4 months). Individuals reported between $0 and $25 000 in losses (wages, travel, lodging, etc.). Relationships with recipients and other family members were not altered significantly. Anticipated pain (predonation) was greater than actual pain reported. Donors indicated satisfaction with the donation process regardless of recipient outcome. Physical complaints were significant at 1 week and 1 month, but returned to baseline. Donor mental health remained stable. In conclusion, RL donors found the experience to be a positive one throughout the first postdonation year. The study identified areas (finances, employment and expected recipient outcomes) to be stressed as future donors are evaluated.