Can You Become a Liver Donor?

Our goal at Henry Ford is to make your selfless act of organ donation as trouble-free and safe as possible. We want to return you to your active life quickly. Our donor advocates and donor coordinators help you navigate the donation process.

Apply to Become a Living Liver Donor

Requirements for liver donation

To donate a portion of your liver to someone you know, you should be:

  • Between the ages of 18 and 55
  • A friend or family member, such as a spouse, parent, sibling, child, nephew or niece
  • Approximately the same body size or larger than the recipient
  • The same or compatible blood type as the recipient
  • In excellent medical and psychological health

Exclusions for liver donation

Certain conditions prevent you from making a liver donation:

  • Previous liver surgery
  • HIV
  • Viral hepatitis
  • Cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Lung disease
  • Diabetes
  • Active alcoholism

Medical tests for liver donation

You must complete a series of medical tests before you can become a liver donor. These tests include:

  • Physical examination, including review of past medical history
  • Mental health assessment
  • Blood and tissue typing
  • Blood screens for transmittable viruses, such as hepatitis and HIV
  • Blood tests to check liver, kidney and thyroid function
  • Heart tests, such as an electrocardiogram (EKG)
  • Imaging, including chest X-rays, possible abdominal angiogram to assess blood flow to your liver, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) to assess the size of your liver
  • Possible liver biopsy

Risks of liver donation

All of our living donors lead active lives, with a 100 percent survival rate at Henry Ford. Nationally, donor death is exceedingly rare, at 5 in 1,000.

Other risks of liver donation include:

  • Bile leak or infection
  • Wound site infection
  • Pain at the incision
  • Bleeding that requires blood transfusions
Take the next step

Speak with a Henry Ford Transplant Specialist.


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