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More than 15,735 people in the U.S. await life-saving liver transplants. More than 760 people in the region await life-saving transplants.
About the Liver
The liver is the largest organ in the body, responsible for crucial functions such as the breakdown of harmful substances in our blood and the production of bile that aids in digestion.
Liver failure can be caused from viral infections, genetic disorders or even alcoholism. These liver diseases lead to cirrhosis, which creates scar tissue that blocks the flow of blood and thus impedes its functions.
Most liver transplants involve transplanting the entire liver, where the diseased liver is removed and replaced with a healthy one. But it is possible to transplant part of a liver, as the organ can regenerate itself within the body. This is how it is possible for people to be living liver donors, as both the transplanted lobe and the donor’s lobe will grow in their respective bodies.
- The average patient must wait 11 months for a liver transplant.
- A liver donated by an adult can often be split and transplanted into two people.
The Interactive Body
Explore the Interactive Body to learn about organs and tissues needed for others awaiting transplants.