pISSN 2671-8790 eISSN 2671-8804


Article View

Original Article

Korean J Transplant 2019; 33(2): 36-45

Published online June 30, 2019


© The Korean Society for Transplantation

Experiences of physical complications and sequelae among living liver donors

Sun Ju Jeong, Han Na Kim

Department of Nursing, Suwon Women’s University, Suwon, Korea

Correspondence to: Han Na Kim Department of Nursing, Suwon Women’s University, 72 Onjeong-ro, Gwonseon-gu, Suwon 16632, Korea Tel: +82-31-290-8234, Fax: +82-31-290-8208 E-mail: sunjuright@swc.ac.kr

Received: March 15, 2019; Revised: May 10, 2019; Accepted: May 16, 2019

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background: This study aimed to investigate the aspects of physical complications and sequelae of living liver donors in the context of the Korean culture. A deeper understanding of these experiences will provide basic data necessary for medical management programs for living liver donors and for those expecting to become living liver donors.
Methods: We used a descriptive ethnographic research method through in-depth interviews and participant observation. Data were collected from January 2016 to December 2017, till adequate quantity of data was obtained. Data were collected from 11 living liver donors using the “snow ball” method. In-depth interviews were conducted two to five times per participant, and the duration of each interview was 2 to 3 hours.
Results: The results were organized into one domain, three categories, and 12 subcategories. The domain of “physical sequelae remaining after donation” was derived from “experience of internal organ disorders,” “long-lasting chronic pain,” “decrease in immunity and increase in disease incidence.” The experiences of “experience of internal organ disorder” were described as feelings of physical constraints similar to being disabled, 100% recovery to predonation status is not possible, markedly different stamina compared to that before donation, and fatigue, with increased difficulty in performing the activities of daily life.
Conclusions: Provision of appropriate medical care and continuous and systematic health care consultation before and after donation, and development of adequate support systems for donors are essential.

Keywords: Living donors, Donor’s complication, Sequelae, Liver transplantation, Organ transplantation