First of all let me tell you what a wonderful and amazing organ the liver is. It has the capability of regenerating itself if injured or even in the case where part of it has to be removed surgically. Yes - that means that if I am able to donate half of my liver to Don, each piece will re-grow back to full size with in 4 MONTHS!! Wow - that just astounds me every time I think about it! Seemingly, the only thing the liver cannot recover from is cirrhosis, which is what Don has. I found these diagrams to help everyone understand exactly what we are talking about... and which part of my liver will go into Don.
The operation, at least my part of it takes about 4-5 hours. Don's will take a bit longer. We will both be in intensive care for at least 1 day, followed by a regular room for several days afterwards. My stay should be 4-7 days, while Don may need to stay up to 2 weeks. It would be great if we could be in the same room, but I am not sure if that would be allowed or not.
Long term success rate for donor livers via the current transplant program is approximately 65%...however, that rate rises to over 90% for live donor recipients!
Our appointment is tomorrow with the transplant surgeon. Honestly, the only concern I have is the difference in our weight... but that margin can easily be narrowed if it needs to be!