Venous bypass restores normal hemodynamic physiology during the critical anhepatic phase of orthotopic transplantation of the liver. Its routine use in adults undergoing transplantation in Pittsburgh has resulted in lower operative blood losses, a lower frequency of postoperative renal failure, and a greater probability of survival for all but the highest risk patients. Because it allows for a longer anhepatic phase, the surgeon has the option of tailoring the native hepatectomy to the needs of the individual case, even to the point, in difficult cases, of obtaining most of the hemostasis after removal of the native liver, but before sewing in the donor organ. Selective use of bypass in children may offer similar advantages.
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