By Dr. Brian McDonoughSponsored By Independence Blue Cross

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — They are called split livers. In the United Kingdom, split livers are used for transplants.

In these cases the organ is divided into two and used in two recipients.

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Split livers are not necessarily that popular here in the United States. In fact there is a concern that if a person does not get an entire liver, it may not be as effective.

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However, unlike most organs, the liver can regenerate itself, and this is why the thought is that we are wasting livers by not splitting them.

The issue is made worse when you take into account that pediatric patients very often have to wait for one that is the right size , but with an adult liver being able to be split into unequal parts, smaller left side can be given to a child and the remainder can go to an adult.

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University of California San Francisco is looking at this and, according to their data, between years of 2010 and 2015, there were enough split livers available to treat all of the 261 children who died on the transplant waiting list during that period.