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Len Rome’s Local Health: Are you a living donor?

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The Cleveland Clinic is working with a new technique to make liver transplants easier

(WYTV) – More than 10,000 people are waiting for a life-saving liver transplant in this country.

You can donate a piece of your liver to someone who needs a new one; your piece will grow in the recipient’s body and your own liver will regenerate itself.

Now, the Cleveland Clinic is working with a new technique to make the transplant easier.

Dr. Choon Hyuck David Kwon, of The Cleveland Clinic, says a laproscope — a special surgical tool and a camera to remove up to a third of your liver — may be the future of transplants.

“We put a half-inch size, about five holes, and we do the whole procedure through those small little incisions. To take the organ out, we put maybe a five-inch incision or less right above the pelvic area,” he said.

There is no large incision. Smaller incisions mean a quicker recovery, less pain and fewer complications.

The donor liver grows back to its full size six to eight weeks after surgery.

Most liver donors who undergo this type of surgery recover twice as fast and are back to work in about one month, compared to two or three months with a traditional large operation.

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