Surgical complications after intestinal transplantation in infants and children--UK experience.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • GL Gupte
  • KS Haghighi
  • K Sharif
  • DA Mayer
  • Deirdre Kelly
  • John Buckels
  • J de Goyet
  • DF Mirza
  • AJ Millar


UNLABELLED Surgical complications have a significant impact on morbidity and mortality following intestinal transplantation (ITx). Birmingham Children's Hospital commenced intestinal transplantation in 1993 and the following surgical strategies evolved: (a) pretransplant abdominal tissue expanders, 1998; (b) combined en-bloc reduced liver and intestinal transplantation (CRLITx), 1998; (c) staged abdominal closure, 2001; (d) preservation of graft duodenal artery, 2005. AIM An internal audit was performed to document the surgical complications after ITx and to evaluate strategies in the management and prevention of complications. METHODS A retrospective analysis of the medical records from January 1993 to June 2007 was conducted to identify surgical complications, evaluate management strategies, and report outcome following ITx. RESULTS Forty-six children underwent 49 ITx (9 isolated intestinal, 39 combined liver and intestinal [CLITx], and 1 multivisceral transplant). Twenty three children had CRLITx since 1998, although there were none before 1997. The median donor: recipient weight ratio in CLITx was 2.2:1 (range, 0.67:1-6.70:1). Twenty-six children experienced 29 (59%) surgical complications: portacaval shunt thrombosis (n = 2, none alive); graft duodenal stump leakage (n = 3, 2 alive); spontaneous bowel perforation(n = 6, 2 alive); sub-acute bowel obstruction (n = 6, all alive); abdominal compartment syndrome ([ACS], n = 4, 2 alive); pancreatic leak (n = 3, 2 alive); biliary complications (n = 22, 17 alive ) failed staged abdominal closure with wound sepsis requiring skin grafting into the bowel (n = 1, alive), wound dehiscence (n = 1, alive), anastomotic leak (n = 1, alive) and intra-abdominal bleeding (n = 1,alive), primary nonfunction (n = 1, 1 died). Following the complications of ACS in children with primary abdominal closure and graft duodenal stump leaks in 2004, we modified our strategies in 2005 to include staged abdominal closure with recipient to donor weight mismatch, and preservation of the gastroduodenal artery during donor organ procurement in addition to pre transplant abdominal tissue expansion. Fifteen children with recipient and donor weight mismatch subsequently required staged closure of the abdomen and none of them developed ACS. Twelve children had gastroduodenal artery preserved and none developed graft duodenal stump leaks. Twenty-four of the 46 (52%) are alive 6 months to 10 years post transplant. CONCLUSION Evolving strategies may avoid or reduce surgical complications commonly seen after intestinal transplantation and thus contribute to an improved outcome.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1473-8
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of pediatric surgery
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2010