Novel Biliary Reconstruction Techniques During Liver Transplantation

Ochsner J. 2017 Spring;17(1):42-45.


Background: Biliary complications remain a significant problem following liver transplantation. Several surgical options can be used to deal with a significant size mismatch between the donor and recipient bile ducts during the biliary anastomosis. We compared biliary transposition to recipient biliary ductoplasty in cadaveric liver transplant.

Methods: A total of 33 reconstructions were performed from January 1, 2005 to December 31, 2013. In the biliary transposition group (n=23), 5 reconstructions were performed using an internal stent (5 or 8 French pediatric feeding tube), and 18 were performed without. Of the 10 biliary ductoplasties, 2 were performed with a stent. All patients were managed with standard immunosuppression and ursodiol. Follow-up ranged from 2 months to 5 years.

Results: No patients in the biliary transposition group required reoperation; 1 patient had an internal stent removed for recurrent unexplained leukocytosis, and 2 patients required endoscopic retrograde cholangiography and stent placement for evidence of stricture. Three anastomotic leaks occurred in the biliary ductoplasty group, and 2 patients in the biliary ductoplasty group required reoperation for biliary complications.

Conclusion: Our results indicate that biliary reconstruction can be performed with either biliary transposition or biliary ductoplasty. These techniques are particularly useful when a significant mismatch in diameter exists between the donor and recipient bile ducts.

Keywords: Anastomosis–surgical; bile ducts–extrahepatic; biliary tract surgical procedures; liver transplantation.