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2 months ago · by · Comments Off on Ohio Women Are Split-Liver Sisters After Rare Transplant Procedure

Ohio Women Are Split-Liver Sisters After Rare Transplant Procedure

Two Ohio women, who refer to themselves as “split-liver sisters,” received a liver transplant on July 1, 2020. Both were part of a rare transplant surgery called a split-liver transplantation, in which a donor’s liver is divided into two distinct portions, which are then implanted into each patient. The procedure is risky because blood clotting and other complications are more likely with split-liver transplantation, though the long-term survival rate is the same.

Koji Hashimoto, a surgeon at Cleveland Clinic, who performed the operation said it’s an extremely rare procedure for adults. The size of the patient determines the size of the liver needed,” Hashimoto said. “It’s also very important to take into consideration how sick the patient is. If you have a really sick patient, you need a bigger liver. The health of the donated liver, which grows to be a standard size about six to eight weeks after the transplant, is also crucial to consider.”

The women shared the same diagnosis of cirrhosis of the liver and had been on the transplant list. An average of 17 people die every day while awaiting their turn to receive an organ. Both women, Maria Contreras and Monica Davis, knew their odds and didn’t hesitate when they received the call that if they agreed-would be in surgery within hours.

Contreras’s operation used 40 percent of the donor liver while the remaining 60 percent went to Davis, whose surgery was performed simultaneously by a different surgeon. Both surgeries were successful and the two women were eager to meet after their operations. Contreras recalled “I was asking my nurse, ‘Do you know about my liver sister?’” “I was so excited to see her. When we met, I cried, I hugged her, I was jumping with her. I could feel the connection.”

Both women say the closeness they have with each other is hard to describe. Contreras said “I was so happy, and I said, ‘Thank you God,’ because He didn’t only give me a new life, but He gave me a new sister, too. We’re going to be friends, she’s a part of me.”


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