LONG TERM FOLLOW‐UP OF PATIENTS FOLLOWING SUCCESSFUL SELECTIVE AND NON‐SELECTIVE PORTASYSTEMIC SHUNT SURGERY

I. E. McInnes, P. R. Gibson, D. S. Rosengarteni, F. J. Dudley

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Abstract

The long term morbidity and mortality of two consecutive groups of patients undergoing successful shunt surgery for bleeding oesophageal varices has been studied. Twenty‐seven patients with a non‐selective shunt in the form of a mesocaval Dacron ‘H’ graft and 21 patients with selective variceal decompression via a distal lienorenal shunt, all of whom had a patent shunt on discharge from hospital, were included in the study. Shunt associated encephalopathy was documented in 77% of the patients following mesocaval shunts and only 19% of patients following distal lienorenal surgery. Other postoperative morbidity was largely related to problems with the synthetic Dacron graft. Late shunt blockage, often resulting in recurrent variceal bleeding, was documented in 25% of these patients and shunt infection was responsible for complicating fatal disseminated sepsis in 18.5%. Long term survival, as assessed by life table analysis, following distal lienorenal shunt surgery was consistently better than that following mesocaval shunts. This was largely due to specific problems which could be directly related to the synthetic nature of the Dacron graft. It is concluded that the mesocaval Dacron interposition graft carries the potentially lethal long term complications of shunt blockage and infection rendering it unsuitable as a portasystemic shunt. Provided that successful surgery can be performed the distal lienorenal shunt may be a more appropriate alternative due to its reduced shunt related morbidity and, possibly, mortality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-358
Number of pages4
JournalANZ Journal of Surgery
Volume55
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1985
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • distal lienorenal shunt
  • mesocaval Dacron ‘H’ graft
  • oesophageal varices
  • portal hypertension
  • portasystemic encephalopathy
  • shunt blockage

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