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Liver Donation Surgery Risks -- Bile Duct Problems

Clip Number: 19 of 37
Presentation: Living Donor Liver Surgery
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Reviewed By: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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When a lobe of your liver is removed, the bile ducts must be cut. You may remember from an earlier presentation that there is a main bile duct that branches out into the liver's smaller ducts.
Many of the tiny ducts the liver cells are connected to will also be cut. While your doctor will do everything possible to repair the duct, bile may still leak from the cut surface of the liver or from the site where the duct was divided.
Bile leaks usually get better on their own -- many times they just need a simple drain tube. Other bile leaks require more detailed medical attention, possibly another surgery. These problems happen in up to 1 out of every 10 liver donation surgeries.
The divided part of the duct may also become very narrow. This is called a "stricture." A stricture can slow or stop the flow of bile from the liver. Strictures are more rare, but may require a procedure to open up the duct and brace it in place. In rare cases, another surgery may be required.

Living Donor Liver Surgery


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