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Split Liver Transplantation


The liver is a powerful organ in the human body, performing over 500 functions that keep us alive. It has the distinction of being the only organ in the human body that can be regrown after it is cut or damaged. In fact, this can happen within just a few months.

While it is true that you cannot live without a liver, you can certainly consider having a liver transplant, particularly if you have been diagnosed with a diseased liver.

The Split Liver Transplant Process

Split liver transplant refers to the removal of a liver from a recently dead person which is divided into two. Each part is transplanted into a child and the other to an older child or adult. The cadaver liver is cut into two parts—right lobe and left lobe.

The right lobe, comprising 60% of the cadaver liver, is transplanted into the body of the adult recipient while the remaining 40% is transplanted into the body of the child recipient. In time, these liver sections will grow to normal size. This surgical technique, entirely innovative, gives the highest level of benefit to each organ recipient, who get a second lease of life through this. Because it can regrow to its original size, the liver is called a regenerative organ.

From this, two lives are saved using one organ, thereby shortening the waiting period for people desperate for a transplant. This option gives patients with a terminal liver disease an option to save themselves.

The Recovery Phase

When children undergo this surgery, they are asked to stay at the hospital for 10-15 days after surgery. After this, a certified pediatric transplant hepatologist will visit him twice a week until he reaches full recovery.

Full recovery normally takes about four to six weeks after which they can lead a normal life. Despite this, the transplant team will continue to see him periodically over the year to find out if he is in good health. Post-operation, the child will eat, play and go to school as before, besides participating in his favourite sports and activities.

A Child’s New Liver

It’s not uncommon for children with liver disease to have livers that are smaller in size than normal. Often, they don’t function as well, either. A child’s new liver will be as close to the size required. It will regrow and reach the optimal size.

Those who have undergone this procedure will tell you that it uses the highest quality of grafts and almost closes the gap between the demand for liver transplant and its availability. This transplantation is a highly challenging procedure and calls for great technical skills to do a first-class job entirely safely.

Innovative Surgical Therapy: A Wonderful Option

Apart from the above, there are two surgical options too for a split liver transplant. They are:

  • Ex vivo: Here, the liver is removed from the donor’s body, and flushed and cooled outside the donor’s body. Then, it is divided into two parts and is ready for transplantation.
  • In situ:When the liver is split inside the donor’s body, it is called in situ.

It is critical that the surgical team performing an in situ procedure work in harmony together. The decision to proceed with this option of split liver transplantation should be based largely on the donor’s stable condition and those conditions of the recipients. Using either approach, successful outcomes can be expected.

What to Expect Post-Operation

It is necessary for medical staff to keep a close eye on the recipients after the surgery is performed. This is because it has been proved that split-liver transplantation usually has a higher chance of haemorrhage, non-function, biliary strictures and biloma. The re-transplantation rate for adults after split-liver transplantation is generally 13% while for standard donors it is barely seven percent.

Post-Operative Care

Post-operative care for split liver donors isn’t different from that of standard donors. For better regeneration of the liver, dosages of immunosuppressants can be reduced. Overall, patients recover well and are discharged quickly.




The Rela Institute and Medical Centre, Chennai, is among the top liver transplant facilities, having successfully accomplished many liver transplants. The best surgeons, state-of-the-art infrastructure and dedicated support staff are responsible for making this hospital among the leading facilities for comprehensive transplant procedures in India.

This institute has already successfully undertaken a vast range of liver diseases and transplants, such as cadaver donor liver transplants and living donor liver transplants. Our Team at RIMC are recognized to be among the first to performsplit liver transplant surgery in India and known to have one of the best split liver transplantation success rate among medical centres in India.

In fact, we are happy to announce that we have had remarkable success with split liver transplantation in adults. Overall, our standard of split liver transplantation in Chennaiis not just dependable but outstanding. That’s because we are home to specialists who have had honed their skills in renowned medical centresin different parts of the globe.

Our medical centre in Chrompet, Chennai, is built on a 36-acre estate and has 450 beds, 130 critical care beds, an ultra-modern diagnostic centre and specialists who care for you.

For an appointment with our specialists or to know more about what we can do for you, call us on +91 9384681770

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