Intraoperative ‘No Go’ Donor Hepatectomies in Living Donor Liver Transplantation

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Donor safety is the paramount concern of living donor liver transplantation (LDLT). Although LDLT is employed worldwide, there is little data on rates and causes of ‘no go’ hepatectomies—patients brought to the operating room for possible donor hepatectomy whose procedure was aborted. We performed a single-center, retrospective review of all patients brought to the operating room for donor hepatectomy between October 2000 and November 2008. Of 257 right lobe donors, the donor operation was aborted in 12 cases (4.7%). The main reasons for stopping the operation were aberrant ductal or vascular anatomy (seven cases), unsuitable liver quality (three cases) or unexpected intraoperative events (two cases). Over the median period of follow-up of 23 months, there were no long-term complications of patients with aborted donor procedures. This report focuses exclusively on an important issue: the frequency and causes of no go decisions at a single large volume North American LDLT center. The rate of no go donor hepatectomies should be as low as possible without compromising donor safety—however, even with rigorous preoperative evaluation the rate of donor abortions will be significant. The default surgical position should always be to abort the donor operation if there is an unexpected finding that places the donor at increased risk.

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