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Saudi J Anaesth. 2019 Jan-Mar;13(1):75-77. doi: 10.4103/sja.SJA_655_18.

Living donor liver transplantation in a patient with cocoon abdomen - Anesthesia concerns!

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Department of Anesthesia, Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences, New Delhi, India.
Department of HPB and Liver Transplantation, Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences, New Delhi, India.


Cocoon abdomen is a rare condition in which abdominal structures are surrounded by thick encapsulating peritoneum resulting in dense adhesions. Liver transplant is a high risk surgery with an already increased risk of massive blood loss due to the pre-existing coagulopathy and portal hypertension. Presence of cocoon abdomen with severe dense adhesions can either lead to difficult hepatectomy with massive intra-operative blood loss or failure to proceed with the surgery. This becomes even more important in live donor liver transplantation where it may not be possible to abandon the surgery once the donor liver resection is started. Thus keeping a high suspicion of cocoon abdomen in patients with previous history of kochs abdomen and on long term beta blocker therapy is of utmost importance and this can decrease the morbidity and mortality associated with this condition. A 41 year old male known case of chronic liver disease was posted for live donor liver transplantation. After opening the abdomen thick dense adhesions were found around the intestines and the liver. Due to the dense adhesions surgical team was in dilemma whether to proceed further for the surgery or not. Intra-operatively patient had a blood loss of 12.5 litre. Despite massive transfusion the postoperative course went uneventful and the patient was extubated on 2nd post-operative day. He was shifted out of Intensive care unit on the 6th post-operative day. Cocoon abdomen should be suspected in a chronic liver disease patient with previous history of tuberculosis or on long term beta blocker therapy. Proper preparation before surgery can decrease the morbidity and mortality associated with this major surgery. Our case report clearly shows that such types of patients can be taken up for the live donor liver transplantation surgery with a precaution to start donor hepatectomy only after surgeon has assessed the difficulty status of recipient hepatectomy.


Cocoon abdomen; liver transplantation; living donor

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