To assess the feasibility and outcome of a piggyback technique without caval occlusion or veno-venous bypass (VB), we retrospectively reviewed 131 consecutive adult orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) performed in 129 patients between May 1993 and February 1995. Six were second transplants, and six were combined liver-kidney transplants. The piggyback technique was attempted in all cases.We were able to perform the piggyback technique in 98 OLTs (75%). The remaining 33 OLTs (25%) were converted to the standard technique; of these, 20 (15%) required VB. The reasons for conversion to the standard technique were: anatomical (22 transplants), severe portal hypertension requiring VB (8 transplants), tumor (1 transplant), and other reasons (2 transplants). Six retransplantations were performed (four piggyback, two standard).There was no significant difference in age, United Network for Organ Sharing status, Child's classification, and diagnosis between the patients in whom piggyback was possible or not. The actuarial patient and graft survival at 1 year were similar between the piggyback group and the group of patients converted to standard technique (87/85% vs. 86/86%, respectively). No death was related to either technique. With piggyback, the average operative time was 8.6+/-1.9 hr, median amount of blood transfused intraoperatively was 2 U (33% did not require transfusion), and median intensive care unit and hospital stays were 3 and 11 days, respectively. With the piggyback technique, the mean preoperative and maximum postoperative serum creatinine levels were 1.4+/-1.0 and 1.8+/-1.5 mg/dl.The piggyback technique without caval occlusion is possible in the majority of patients. It is safe and has reduced the use of VB to 15% of our adult OLTs. The piggyback technique avoids retrocaval dissection, facilitates retransplantation, and is associated with a short anhepatic phase, low blood product usage, and short intensive care unit stay.
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View details for PubMedID 9448148