Guidelines for Surgical Procedures After Liver Transplantation

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The first purpose of this study is to identify the types and incidences of surgical procedures in patients who have previously undergone liver transplantation, with particular focus on the complication rates and the lengths of hospital stay. The second purpose is to present the management guidelines for patients with liver transplants at the preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative stages of surgical procedure.

Summary Background Data

The surgical literature on this issue is scant, and with the growing liver transplant patient population it is not unlikely for any surgery specialist to have to operate on a patient who has undergone liver transplantation.


A sample of 409 patients with available hospital records, with a minimum of a 2-year follow-up, and with telephone access for interviews was chosen. Type of surgery, time from the liver transplant, hospital stay, immunosuppressive regimen, and complications were recorded.


A large proportion of patients (24.2%) underwent some type of surgical procedure 2 to 10 years after liver transplantation. The authors demonstrate that most of the elective procedures can be safely carried out without an increased incidence of complication and without longer hospital stay than the general population. Conversely, emergent procedures are plagued by a greater incidence of complications that not only affectthe function of the liver graft but may risk the life of the patient.

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