More than 118,000 people currently are waiting for organ transplantation, with thousands more in need of tissue and corneal transplants.\nA large majority of organ donations occur via a deceased donor. However, living donation is possible with certain organs and tissues, enabling doctors to save more people in desperate need of a transplant. Traditionally, organ transplants were done using organs from deceased donors. Today, because of advances in surgical capabilities, organ donors can still be alive and give the gift of life.\nMany people who know\u00a0someone in need of an organ transplant often consider becoming a living donor. Other selfless individuals become a living donor solely to make a difference in the lives of others, regardless of not knowing anyone personally in need of transplant.\nRELATED:\u00a0What Is Living-Donor Liver Transplant Surgery?\n\n \n Click Here to Learn More about Receiving a liver transplant. Contact UPMC.\n \nFill out the form below or call 833-683-3555 for more information. \nWhat Organs Can Be Donated Via Living Donation?\n\nKidney \u2014 Individuals can donate one of their kidneys to a recipient to compensate for the failing kidney of the transplant recipient. This is the most common form of living donation.\nLiver \u2014 Individuals can donate a portion of their liver which is then implanted into the recipient. The liver cells regenerate after the donation until it has regrown to almost its original size in both the donor and recipient.\n\nAdvantages of Living-Donor Transplant\nEvery day, about 21 people in the United States die while waiting for an organ transplant. Living-donor transplant offers many advantages for people with chronic kidney and liver disease. Donors have the additional benefit of knowing that they have contributed to another person’s life in a very meaningful way.\n\nLiving-donor transplant is a life-saving procedure for people with end-stage kidney or liver disease, and it increases the number of available organs for people on the kidney and liver transplant waiting lists.\nWith organs readily available for transplant, donors and recipients can schedule surgery at a time that is convenient for them.\nFlexible scheduling allows the transplant to take place sooner which can save recipients valuable time on the transplant waiting list.\nBecause the donor’s organs are functioning up until the time of transplant, the recipient can benefit from improved long-term outcomes and a quicker recovery.\n\nWho Is Eligible to Donate an Organ?\nLiving kidney and liver donors can range from family and friends to anonymous individuals, called altruistic donors, if they meet the requirements to donate. In some kidney transplant cases \u2014 depending on a blood type match and meeting other eligibility requirements \u2014 donors can take part in a kidney exchange or “match,” where two or more pairs of related donors and recipients donate to each other.\nFor example, in April 2013, eight people participated in a kidney transplant chain that took place over two days at UPMC Montefiore. In that time, UPMC surgeons performed four kidney removal surgeries, called nephrectomies, and four kidney transplant surgeries as part of the chain.\nPotential living donors should be:\n\nBetween the ages of 18 and 55\nIn good general health and have no history of heart disease, liver disease \u2013 including cirrhosis and hepatitis B and C, diabetes, HIV, cancers, or other disease that could complicate surgery\n\nRELATED:\u00a06 Common Organ Donation Myths Debunked\nWhat Are the Risks of Being a Living Donor?\nSurgery of any kind can carry inherent risks that both the donor and recipient should consider carefully. Rarely are complications serious enough to require further corrective surgery or medical procedures. Risks may include:\n\nPost-surgical discomfort\nInfection\nOrgan damage or other complications\n\nIf you’re thinking of donating an organ, it’s important to understand the risks involved. It’s a big decision, but one you can make after weighing all of the options.\u00a0To learn more about organ donation, including debunked myths about organ donation, visit UPMC Transplant Services’ Donate Life page.