Biliary reconstruction represents one of the most challenging parts of right lobe (RL) living donor liver transplantations (LDLTs). Different causes, surgical techniques, and treatments have been suggested but are incompletely defined.Methods.
Between June 1999 and January 2002, 96 RL LDLTs were performed in our center. We reviewed the incidence of biliary complications in all the recipients.Results.
Roux-en-Y reconstruction was performed in 53 cases (55.2%) and duct-to-duct was performed in 39 cases (40.6%). Both procedures were performed in 4 cases (4.2%). Multiple ducts (≥2) were found in 58 grafts (60.4%). Thirty-nine recipients (40.6%) had 43 biliary complications: 21 had bile leaks, 22 had biliary strictures, and 4 had both complications. Patients with multiple ducts had a higher incidence of bile leaks than those patients with a single duct (P=0.049). No significant differences in complications were found between Roux-en-Y or duct-to-duct reconstructions. Freedom from biliary complications was 59% at 1 year and 55% at 2 years. The overall 1-year and 2-year survival rates for patients were 86% and 81%, respectively. The overall 1-year and 2-year survival rates for grafts were 80% and 77%, respectively. Occurrence of bile leaks affected patient and graft survival (76% and 65% 2-year patient and graft survival, respectively, vs. 89% and 85% for those without biliary leaks, P=0.07).Conclusions.
Despite technical modifications and application of various surgical techniques, biliary complications remain frequent after RL LDLT. Patients with multiple biliary reconstructions had a higher incidence of bile leaks. Patients who developed leaks had lower patient and graft survival rates.