Derek’s disease, PSC, is not the only liver related disease that requires a liver transplant, but keeps the person afflicted with it relatively low on the transplant list. As a reminder, there are approximately 17,000 people waiting for a liver transplant in the United States, and about 1500 of those patients die every year waiting for a new liver.
A new and unique transplant procedure allows doctors to do a full liver, live donation. Here’s how it works. Children afflicted with a rare genetic disorder called Maple Syrup Urine disease need a liver transplant to mitigate the effects of the disease, but their liver is still suitable for adults without the genetic condition. This means when the child gets their new liver from a cadaver donor, their old liver can be transplanted into an adult waiting for transplant. And because the liver–biased opinion–is by far the coolest organ in the abdomen, even though the adult is receiving a liver that is smaller than they need, it grows to optimal size after transplantation. You can read more about this amazing process at the Washington Post.