NYU Hospitals pioneered the use of livers from living donors in transplantation. In addition to anatomical compatibility and availability, the blood types of the prospective donor and the recipient need to be compatible. Doctors only need a piece of the liver, not the entire organ, thanks to the liver’s self-regenerating properties. Within weeks of transplantation, both the donor and the recipient generally have full-sized livers.
Donors need to adapt to certain temporary lifestyle changes after donating part of their liver. They should not drive, lift heavy objects, or go to work for several weeks, and they may experience reduced energy levels for three to four months.