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Keywords:

  • Bile duct;
  • leak;
  • liver;
  • living donor;
  • stricture;
  • transplantation

Biliary strictures remain the most challenging aspect of adult right lobe living donor liver transplantation (RLDLT). Between 04/2000 and 10/2005, 130 consecutive RLDLTs were performed in our center and followed prospectively. Median follow-up was 23 months (range 3–67) and 1-year graft and patient survival was 85% and 87%, respectively. Overall incidence of biliary leaks (n = 19) or strictures (n = 22) was 32% (41/128) in 33 patients (26%). A duct-to-duct (D-D) or Roux-en-Y (R-Y) anastomosis were performed equally (n = 64 each) with no difference in stricture rate (p = 0.31). The use of ductoplasty increased the number of grafts with a single duct for anastomosis and reduced the biliary complication rate compared to grafts ≥2 ducts (17% vs. 46%; p = 0.02). Independent risk factors for strictures included older donor age and previous history of a bile leak. All strictures were managed nonsurgically initially but four patients ultimately required conversion from D-D to R-Y. Ninety-six percent (123/128) of patients are currently free of any biliary complications. D-D anastomosis is safe after RLDLT and provides access for future endoscopic therapy in cases of leak or stricture. When presented with multiple bile ducts, ductoplasty should be considered to reduce the potential chance of stricture.