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Best Pract Res Clin Gastroenterol. 2004 Oct;18(5):881-900.

Early postoperative complications following liver transplantation.

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  • 1Universit├Ątsklinikum Schleswig Holstein, Campus Kiel, Klinik f├╝r Allgemeine Chirurgie und Thoraxchirurgie, Arnold-Heller Str. 7, 24105 Kiel, Germany.


Liver transplantation is a highly successful treatment for patients with end-stage liver disease and acute liver failure. However, serious postoperative complications can significantly compromise patient survival. Complications can be technical, medical, or immunological in nature. The risk of developing early postoperative complications is associated with the patient's preoperative condition, the quality of the donor liver, the quality of the donor and recipient procedure, initial graft function, and perioperative anaesthesiological and intensive care management. The patient's preoperative condition can include gastrointestinal bleeding, acute renal failure, a requirement for cathecholamines or mechanical ventilation, and prolonged encephalopathy for the most detrimental risk factors for developing early postoperative complications. The necessity for prolonged mechanical ventilation or the requirement for reintubation after transplantation can significantly increase the risk of developing pneumonia, sepsis, and multiple organ dysfunction. A decrease in infectious and other complications can be achieved by early postoperative enteral nutition, including the application of probiotics.

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