Liver Donor Recovery
September 8, 2014 11:45 AM   Subscribe

My friend just donated 60% of her liver to her father - what should she expect for her recovery? What can I do to help? Any personal experiences or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Also, she is a singer - how long might it be before she is ready to belt it out again? Anything she can do to ease that along?
posted by InfidelZombie to Health & Fitness (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
My dad had a complete liver transplant, so I can't speak specifically to your friend's recovery as a donor, but if she has any general questions about the recovery experience from the perspective of a daughter closely involved with the process, I would be more than happy to help. Feel free to MeMail me.
posted by chatongriffes at 12:08 PM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

She should rest to prepare for the pats on the back she'll get for donating part of her liver. Ha!!

Seriously, that's a great thing she's done.

As with any surgery she should follow the docs instructions on recovery. She should get up and walk as much as she can. Since she was a candidate for a living donation she should be pretty healthy. So just exercise and get back to eating regular food.

As far as helping... Be there to give her rides. She'll be taking pain meds and have a lot of follow up visits with the transplant docs. Driving is forbidden while on the pain meds. If she's having a hard time walking/exercising, gently and lovingly encourage her to get up and walk around. Recovery could take a long time. So even when she seems much better, she still may need help. Don't be afraid to just help even if she says "I'm fine!"

I don't have specific experience with living donor surgeries. I had a full liver transplant from a deceased donor.
posted by hot_monster at 6:30 PM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

I am a nurse who works with living donors before - not after - they donate a portion of their liver. My best suggestion is for your friend to speak with her surgeon and her transplant coordinator, usually a nurse who has seen this occur for many donors. Everyone's surgery is different, everyone's recovery is different, and the medical staff who knows them will be best prepared to predict her recovery.

The really good news is that only donors in tip-top health are able to donate, so she is primed to recover very quickly. And her donation is absolutely awesome top her recipient!
posted by citygirl at 5:43 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Just to update, she's fully recovered at this point, back to work and living at her own place again. Her doctor said she had one of the fastest recoveries he'd ever seen, which is fantastic.
posted by InfidelZombie at 2:39 PM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

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