Living liver donors will experience discomfort and pain during their recovery. The pain varies from person to person. The care team strives to make donors as comfortable as possible, while ensuring they are alert enough to participate in activities that promote recovery, such as eating, drinking, walking, coughing and deep breathing.
After the surgery, the donor typically stays in the hospital for five to seven days, depending on their recovery. When donors return home, their activities will be limited for about six weeks after surgery. The care team will explain this, and provide information about scheduling follow-up appointments.
The discharge instructions and follow-up appointments are important for a healthy recovery and to reduce the risk of complications. Full recovery typically takes 10–12 weeks.
Follow up after living donation surgery
All donors must have a follow-up appointment with the surgeon two to three weeks after surgery, and at 6, 12 and 24 months after surgery with the surgeon or a primary care physician. Cincinnati Children’s is required to report information about the follow up to UNOS, the United Network for Organ Sharing.