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Biliary complications following living donor hepatectomy.

  • Author(s): Braun, Hillary J;
  • Ascher, Nancy L;
  • Roll, Garrett R;
  • Roberts, John P
  • et al.

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Creative Commons 'BY-NC-ND' version 4.0 license


Living donor liver transplantation (LDLT) has become increasingly common in an effort to increase organ availability for the treatment of end-stage liver disease. Donor safety is a primary concern in LDLT. The majority of complications experienced by living donors are infectious or biliary in nature. The purpose of this paper was to review the existing literature on biliary complications in living donors.


Studies were eligible for inclusion if they were published in English between 2006-present, focused on adult-to-adult LDLT, and were available via PubMed/MEDLINE.


A total of 33 studies reporting outcomes from 12,653 donors (right lobe: 8231, left lobe: 4422) were included. Of 33 studies, 12 reported outcomes from right lobe donors, 1 from left lobe donors, 14 compared left and right, and 6 focused specifically on biliary complications. A total of 830 biliary complications (6.6%) were reported, with 75 donors requiring re-operation for biliary complications and 1 donor death attributed to biliary complications.


Although bile leaks and strictures are still relatively common following living donor hepatectomy, the majority of complications are minor and resolve with conservative measures. Approximately 6% of living donors will experience a biliary complication and, of these 6%, approximately 9% (total of 0.6% of donors) will require operative management of the biliary complication.

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