Surgical complications after living and deceased donor liver transplant: The NSQIP transplant experience

Dominic Amara, Justin Parekh, Debra Sudan, Nahel Elias, David P. Foley, Kendra Conzen, Arielle Grieco, Hillary J. Braun, Stuart Greenstein, Claudia Byrd, Clifford Ko, Ryutaro Hirose

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


This study used the prospective National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP) Transplant pilot database to analyze surgical complications after liver transplantation (LT) in LT recipients from 2017to 2019. The primary outcome was surgical complication requiring intervention (Clavien-Dindo grade II or greater) within 90 days of transplant. Of the 1684 deceased donor and 109 living donor LT cases included from 29 centers, 38% of deceased donor liver recipients and 47% of living donor liver recipients experienced a complication. The most common complications included biliary complications (19% DDLT; 31% LDLT), hemorrhage requiring reoperation (14% DDLT; 9% LDLT), and vascular complications (6% DDLT; 9% LDLT). Management of biliary leaks (35.3% ERCP, 38.0% percutaneous drainage, 26.3% reoperation) and vascular complications (36.2% angioplasty/stenting, 31.2% medication, 29.8% reoperation) was variable. Biliary (aHR 5.14, 95% CI 2.69–9.8, P <.001), hemorrhage (aHR 2.54, 95% CI 1.13–5.7, P =.024) and vascular (aHR 2.88, 95% CI.85–9.7, P =.089) complication status at 30-days post-transplant were associated with lower 1-year patient survival. We conclude that biliary, hemorrhagic and vascular complications continue to be significant sources of morbidity and mortality for LT recipients. Understanding the different risk factors for complications between deceased and living donor liver recipients and standardizing complication management represent avenues for continued improvement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere14610
JournalClinical Transplantation
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2022


  • clinical quality registry
  • liver transplant complication management
  • liver transplant complications
  • quality improvement
  • surgical complications

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation


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