During the past 51/2 years, thirty consecutive and unselected patients who bled from oesophageal varices underwent distal lienorenal shunt surgery. Eight deaths occurred in the immediate postoperative period. Three of nine emergency patients died because of continued bleeding and, of the five elective patients who died, four were largely the result of technical problems encountered at surgery. In the immediate postoperative period variceal bleeding recurred in five of eight emergency patients despite shunt patency. This did not occur in the elective group. Shunt blockage was relatively common compared to that following conventional porta‐systemic shunt surgery; being documented in five of the 24 patients in whom patency was assessed. No clinical, biochemical or histological criteria were identified as predictors of outcome. In particular, the presence of preoperative ascites gave no indication of postoperative problems. However, if ascites developed in the immediate postoperative period, it was a major management problem in 50% of patients. In conclusion, the distal lienorenal shunt has a high perioperative mortality, is commonly complicated by shunt thrombosis and, in the emergency situation, often fails to control bleeding. The technical difficulties encountered at surgery appear largely responsible for the early morbidity and mortality.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||ANZ Journal of Surgery|
|Publication status||Published - Aug 1981|