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Andrassy, Joachim; Wolf, Sebastian; Hoffmann, Verena; Rentsch, Markus; Stangl, Manfred; Thomas, Michael; Pratschke, Sebastian; Frey, Lorenz; Gerbes, Alexander; Meiser, Bruno; Angele, Martin; Werner, Jens and Guba, Markus (2016): Rescue management of early complications after liver transplantation-key for the long-term success. In: Langenbecks Archives of Surgery, Vol. 401, No. 3: pp. 389-396

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Purpose Postoperative complications may have not only immediate but also long-term effects on the outcomes. Here, we analyzed the effect of postoperative complications requiring a reoperation (grade 3b) within the first 30 days on patients' and graft survival following liver transplantation. Methods Graft and patient survival in relation to donor and recipient variables and the need of reoperation for complications of 277 consecutive liver transplants performed from January 2007 to December 2012 were analyzed. Results Two hundred seventy-seven liver transplants were performed in 252 patients. Overall patient and graft survival at 1, 2, and 3 years were significantly reduced in patients requiring a reoperation. The labMELD score was significantly elevated (p = 0.04) and cold ischemia time was prolonged (p = 0.03) in recipients undergoing reoperations. Kaplan-Meier curves indicate that complications impact the outcome primarily within the first 3 months after transplantation. In multivariate analyses, the actual need of reoperation (p < 0.001), the labMELD score (p = 0.05), cold ischemia time (p = 0.02), and the need for hemodialysis pre-transplant (p = 0.05) were the only variables which correlated with the overall survival. Conclusion Postoperative complications resulting in reoperations have a significant impact on the outcome primarily in the early phase after liver transplantation. Successful management of postoperative complications is key to every successful liver transplant program.

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