BACKGROUND: Although early relaparotomy of the recipient after living-donor liver transplantation (LDLT) is a significant event, its causes, risk factors, and outcomes are still unclear. METHODS: A retrospective analysis of 284 cases of adult-to-adult LDLT was performed. RESULTS: The incidence of early relaparotomy of the recipient was 9.2% (n=26). The reasons for relaparotomy were divided into three groups: postoperative bleeding (n=11, 42.3%), insufficient portal venous flow (n=5, 19.2%), and other (n=10, 38.5%). The 6-month graft survival rates of patients in the early laparotomy and nonlaparotomy groups were 61.5% and 88.4%, respectively (P<0.0001). Patients with postoperative bleeding experienced a significantly higher mortality rate (54.6%) than those with other reasons for early relaparotomy (13.3%; P=0.0231). Multivariate analysis showed that a model for end-stage liver disease score of greater than 20 (odds ratio [OR], 9.06; P=0.0434) and an operative blood loss of greater than 15 L (OR, 9.06; P=0.0434) were significant risk factors for graft loss after early relaparotomy. In patients with patent major shunt vessels (>1 cm in diameter, n=31), portal venous flow of less than 1.0 L/min at the end of surgery was a significant risk factor for early relaparotomy to ligate the remaining shunt vessels (OR, 50.5; P=0.0188). CONCLUSIONS: Early relaparotomy of the recipient is significantly associated with poor graft survival after LDLT. Massive intraoperative blood loss and high model for end-stage liver disease score were associated with poor graft survival in the relaparotomy group.
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