Background. Biliary anastomotic complications remain a major cause of morbidity in liver transplant recipients, ranging between 10% and 50% in large clinical series. An end-to-end choledochocholedochostomy with or without T tube (CDCD EE with T tube and CDCD EE w/o T tube) and a Roux-en Y choledochojejunostomy have been standard methods for biliary drainage. Methods. The objectives of this retrospective study were to: (1) evaluate the incidence of biliary tract complications using a new method of side-to-side choledochocholedochostomy without T tube (CDCD SS w/o T tube) and (2) compare the results of CDCD SS w/o T tube with those of CDCD EE with T tube and CDCD EE w/o T tube. From September 1991 through June 1996, 279 orthotopic liver transplants were performed in 268 patients and followed through December 1996 (minimum of 6 month's follow-up). A total of 227 CDCD anastomoses in 220 patients were studied (7 retransplants >30 days): CDCD EE with T tube (n= 124), CDCD EE w/o T tube (n=44), and CDCD SS w/o T tube (n=59). Results. Sixty-nine biliary complications were observed in 220 patients (30%). Anastomotic and/or T-tube leaks were seen in 43 patients (19%), and anastomotic strictures were found in 26 patients (12%). Forty patients (18%) required percutaneous or endoscopic stent placement (6%) or surgical interventions (12%). CDCD EE with T tube had the highest incidence of biliary leak requiring rehospitalization but the lowest anastomotic stricture and intervention rate and the lowest 6-month mortality rate. Conclusions. CDCD EE with T tube was superior to CDCD EE or CDCD SS w/o T tube despite the increased number of rehospitalizations. CDCD SS w/o T tube did not offer significant advantages over conventional biliary anastomotic techniques.
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