Most of the human organs that are available for transplantation — such as hearts, lungs and corneas — come from people who arrange for their organs to be donated upon death. But two types of organs can actually be transplanted when the donor is alive.
Living Donor Kidney Transplant
Humans are born with two kidneys, but can live healthy, active lives with only one functioning kidney. That’s why living donor kidney transplantation is possible. When a living person donates a kidney to be transplanted into another person, both donor and recipient live their lives with one kidney.
Learn more about living donor kidney transplantation.
Living Donor Liver Transplant
Each of us has just one liver. But that liver — the body’s largest solid organ — is truly magnificent. It is the only organ capable of regeneration, or regrowth.
When a portion of a liver is removed to be transplanted, the body can replace the missing section, actually growing new, functioning liver in its place. The transplanted section of liver also grows into a fully functioning liver. This regeneration process, which scientists are still trying to fully understand, occurs over several weeks.
Living donor liver transplants are still rare, but at top transplant centers like Michigan Medicine, they are on the rise.
Learn more about living donor liver transplantation.
Organ Donation Upon Death
A person can give no greater gift than the gift of life. One person can save and improve the lives of 75 people through organ, tissue and eye donation. By joining the Michigan Organ Donor Registry, you can help give that gift. Learn more about Organ Donation in Michigan.