Staged biliary reconstruction after liver transplantation: A novel surgical strategy for high acuity pediatric transplant recipients

Surgery. 2019 Feb;165(2):323-328. doi: 10.1016/j.surg.2018.08.022. Epub 2018 Sep 26.


Introduction: Biliary complications after pediatric orthotopic liver transplantation remain causes of significant patient morbidity. Staged operative approach in complex hepatobiliary surgery has improved postoperative outcomes but has not been evaluated in pediatric orthotopic liver transplantation. We sought to analyze the outcomes of staged biliary reconstruction after orthotopic liver transplantation in high acuity patients.

Methods: A retrospective analysis of 43 pediatric orthotopic liver transplantations at our center (January 2013 through December 2017). Median follow-up was 25 months. Variables were compared for group I: 1-stage orthotopic liver transplantation with biliary anastomosis (n = 6) versus group II: staged biliary reconstruction orthotopic liver transplantation (n = 37).

Results: Comparing groups I and II, median age (7.3 vs 4.8 years), weight (27 vs 19 kg), proportion of urgent orthotopic liver transplantation (50% vs 65%), partial graft orthotopic liver transplantation (33% vs 35%), and intraoperative red blood cell transfusion volume (11 vs 21 mL/kg) were comparable. Roux-en-Y hepaticojejunostomy was performed in 67% (group I) and 49% (group II). There was no biliary complication in both groups. For groups I and II, 3-year survival rates for graft (100% vs 92%, P = .477) and patient (100% vs 97%, P = .679) were comparable.

Conclusion: Our study showed excellent outcomes with staged biliary reconstruction orthotopic liver transplantation in high acuity pediatric transplant recipients. This is the first report showing clinical applicability of staged biliary reconstruction orthotopic liver transplantation in children.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Anastomosis, Roux-en-Y*
  • Bile Ducts / surgery*
  • Body Temperature
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Choledochostomy*
  • Erythrocyte Transfusion
  • Female
  • Graft Survival
  • Humans
  • Jejunostomy*
  • Length of Stay / statistics & numerical data
  • Liver Transplantation*
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stents