It is our experience that warm dissection in the porta hepatis as well as extensive organ mobilization during combined pancreas-liver procurements may cause posttransplant dysfunction of the liver. To avoid this, we recently utilized a rapid en bloc procurement technique with minimal warm dissection and division of the liver and pancreas ex vivo. Fifteen procurements were performed using this rapid en bloc technique; seventeen procurements involved extensive dissection followed by sequential in situ procurement of the liver and pancreas grafts. The control group consisted of 15 age-matched patients who received livers when no pancreas was harvested. Dissection time was 157±13 min (mean ± SEM) in the in situ group, 78±3 min in the en bloc group (P<0.02), and 51±6 min in the liver only group (P<0.02). There was no difference in donor age, cold ischemia time, or recipient United Network for Organ Sharing status. Pancreata obtained using the en bloc technique all had immediate function and there were no episodes of acute pancreatitis. Early liver graft function, as assessed by lactate dehydrogenase, serum glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase, serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase, and total bilirubin levels, was significantly lower in the en bloc and liver only group when compared with the in situ group. The total hospital stay was also significantly lower in these groups. We conclude that the rapid en bloc technique decreases operative time during the donor operation. Procurement- related injury to the liver graft is minimized without compromising pancreas graft function.
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