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Where do donor livers come from?

Donor livers are obtained from individuals who have suffered catastrophic brain injuries or brain hemorrhage. These individuals have been declared dead due to the lack of function of the brain. When such an individual is identified, consent for organ removal is obtained from their next of kin. Information about the donor is entered into a national computer network and local, regional and national lists of potential recipients for the donor organs are obtained by the local organ procurement organization. The group that maintains the national computerized transplant network is called the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) http://www.unos.org/. This organization has the government contract to match donors with patients who require transplantation. Within each local area, there are organ procurement organizations that handle the identification and removal of transplantable organs from brain-dead individuals and also ensure that these organs are placed according to criteria established by UNOS. In Houston, LifeGift is the local organ procurement organization (http://www.lifegift.org/).

Do donor and recipient have to be matched by tissue type, sex, age, etc.?

No. For liver transplants, the only requirements are that the recipient and the donor need to be of a compatible size and compatible blood type. No other matching is necessary. It is possible at present to take parts of larger livers and place them into smaller children. These procedures are called reduced-size transplants. Livers grow and these transplanted livers develop normally with the growing child.

How can I donate my organs?

If you wish to be an organ donor, carry an organ donor card and place an organ donor sticker on your medical identification card. Most importantly, you must discuss the decision about organ donation with your family members. At the time of organ donation, you will be unable to communicate your wishes and your family will be asked to provide for consent. Unless you have discussed it with your family, it will be more difficult for them to make the decision about donating your organs.

Obesity and Fatty Liver Disease

Obesity, and all of its related complications, is more serious than most adults in America believe. More than one-third (34.9% or 78.6 million) of U.S. adults are obese. Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, and certain types of cancer, are some of the leading causes of preventable death. We are seeing an increase in the number of young children and adolescents developing obesity, and all of the related complications.

The cost of obesity is staggering, with annual medical cost of obesity exceeding $147 billion in 2008 U.S. dollars. The medical costs for people who are obese were $1,429 higher than those of normal weight.

Dr. Galati and the Liver Specialists of Texas team are dedicated to evaluate, treat, and manage all aspects of obesity and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD and NASH), including the complication of cirrhosis and liver failure. Developing a customized plan of care for each patient they see is their objective.

Liver Transplant Resources

Dr. Galati has been involved in Liver Transplantation since 1989. As Medical Director for the Center for Liver Disease and Transplantation at Houston Methodist Hospital, Dr. Galati has cared for thousands of patients with advanced liver disease. In those with the most severe form of advanced liver disease and cirrhosis, liver transplantation is a life-saving surgery. For more information on liver transplantation, click here.

Indications for liver transplant include:

Online LIVER Second Opinion

  • 1

    From the comfort of your home, without the need to spend additional money on travel, lodging, and food, receive and expert second opinion from the expert physicians at Liver Specialists of Texas

  • 2

    There are five steps in the process of requesting a second opinion. We anticipate the steps will take you about 30-65 minutes to complete.

  • 3

    Have your medical records or those of your loved one on hand as you fill out the medical history questionnaire portion of the online process. The medical history questionnaire is detailed so having medical records to quickly reference will help make the process more efficient.

  • 4

    To start the process of an Online Liver Second Opinion, please fill out the initial contact form and fax back to our office. A representative from our office will call you for additional details.