The Impact of Previous Abdominal Surgery in a High-Acuity Liver Transplant Population

Antony Aziz, Takahiro Ito, Stephanie Younan, Joseph DiNorcia, Vatche G. Agopian, Douglas G. Farmer, Ronald W. Busuttil, Fady M. Kaldas

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3 Scopus citations


Background: It is not uncommon for liver transplant (LT) recipients to have had previous abdominal surgery (PAS) preceding transplant. The impact of PAS on morbidity and mortality in LT patients remains unclear. In this study, we investigated the correlation between PAS and LT outcomes in a high-acuity patient population. Materials and methods: This is a single-center retrospective review of 936 adult primary LT recipients between 2012 and 2018. Patients were divided based on PAS history. PAS was subdivided into upper abdominal surgery (UAS) and lower abdominal surgery (LAS). UAS was separated into high-impact UAS and low-impact UAS. Finally, we studied patients with PAS ≤90 d versus PAS >90 d. Results: Extensive adhesiolysis was the only significant perioperative factor between the PAS group (n = 367) and the non-PAS group (n = 569) (P < 0.001). Red blood cell (RBC) transfusion (20U versus 17U, P = 0.044) and abdominal packing (24.2% versus 13.3%, P = 0.008) were significantly higher in the UAS group (n = 186) versus the LAS group (n = 181). Patients with high-impact UAS required greater RBC (P = 0.021) and fresh frozen plasma transfusion (P = 0.005), and arterial conduits (P = 0.016) during LT. Compared with recipients with PAS >90 d (n = 338), recipients with PAS ≤90 d (n = 29) had significantly higher RBC transfusion (P = 0.046), fresh frozen plasma transfusion (P = 0.022), and abdominal packing (P = 0.025). No differences in patient and graft survival was observed. Conclusions: These findings suggest that, with appropriate care in the perioperative setting, PAS is not a contraindication to successful LT. Careful consideration is warranted when risk stratifying patients with multiple comorbidities who had PAS, especially those with UAS or PAS ≤90 d.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-413
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
StatePublished - Feb 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • High-acuity transplant
  • Liver transplantation
  • Previous abdominal surgery
  • Transplant risk-stratification
  • Upper abdominal surgery


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