Background. Biliary complications (BC) following orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) is strongly associated with inferior patient outcomes and increased healthcare cost. BC in high-acuity patients can be lethal. While the utility of staged biliary reconstruction after liver transplantation (SBRALT) has been reported in adult and pediatric OLT, biliary outcome data are scarce. We sought to evaluate the clinical utility and outcomes of SBRALT in high-acuity transplant recipients. Methods. We conducted an analysis from our prospective database of 149 adult OLT between January 1, 2012, and September 30, 2017. Mean follow-up was 26 months. Variables were compared for Group I: one-stage OLT with biliary reconstruction (N = 58) versus Group II: SBRALT (N = 91). Results. Compared with Group I, patients in Group II had higher acuity of illness: median model for end-stage liver disease scores (19 vs 35 P = 0.002), requirement for pretransplant intensive care unit (29.3% vs 54.9%, P = 0.022), pretransplant renal replacement therapy (15.5% vs 48.4%), estimated blood loss (2000 vs 4750 mL, P < 0.001), and intraoperative packed red blood cells transfusion (4 vs 10 units, P < 0.001). For Group II, biliary reconstruction was performed between 1 and 6 days after OLT. Hepaticojejunostomy was performed in 8.6% (Group I) and 26.4% (Group II), P = 0.010. For Groups I and II, BC rates (8.6% vs 7.7%, P = 0.955) and 1-year graft failure-free survival rates (89.7% vs 88.2%, P = 0.845) were comparable. Conclusions. Graft failure-free survival and biliary outcomes of SBRALT in high-acuity recipients are excellent and comparable to one-stage OLT for low-risk patients. SBRALT is a practical surgical strategy in complex OLT.
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