Liver Donation Surgery

The health and safety of our living donors is a top priority at Henry Ford. Our surgeons use an advanced mini-incision technique to remove liver sections. Compared with traditional open surgery, this approach is safer and better for our donors.

Learn more about donating part of your liver, including the benefits of a minimally invasive approach.

Donating a liver section

You can expect certain steps during and after your mini-incision liver donation surgery:

  • Your surgeon will make a 4-inch incision below your sternum and along your abdomen to access and remove the portion of liver.
  • To access your liver, your surgeon also permanently removes your gallbladder. Your gallbladder stores bile produced by the liver. Bile helps break down fatty foods. When your gallbladder is removed, bile from your liver goes directly into your intestine. Many people live healthy lives without their gallbladders. Gallbladder removal should not affect your digestion or health.
  • After surgery, you recover in our specialized transplant recovery unit. This unit has filtered air to lower your risk of infection.
  • The length of your hospital stay depends on the complexity of your surgery and your health.
  • After your discharge, you can visit one of our convenient liver transplant clinics for follow-up tests to ensure that your liver is functioning properly and returning to its original size.
  • Individual recovery times vary.

liver surgery incision

Take the next step

Speak with a Transplant Institute specialist.