SNUH conducts over 200 laparoscopic liver transplants

Lee Han-soo  Published 2018.05.17  18:00  Updated 2018.05.23 15:17


Seoul National University Hospital (SNUH) said Thursday that it has become the first hospital worldwide to perform more than 200 pure laparoscopic living donor liver resection surgeries.

The hospital, which started its first pure laparoscopic living donor surgery in November 2015, had its 200th operation on April 30, with the hospital discharging the patient on Thursday.

Pure laparoscopic is a surgical procedure that mainly focuses on the donor's postoperative recovery. The operation has a high patient satisfaction rate, but requires an advanced level of medical skill, and is very difficult and complicated. Such reasons are why many hospitals still opt for open surgery.

The team at SNUH has conducted pure laparoscopic on about 85 percent of patients, who have undergone liver transplants at the hospital. Up to 94 percent of the pure laparoscopic living donor surgeries were done in right liver donation, one of the most technically challenging procedures.

Although the initial operation time was about seven to eight hours, SNUH medical staffs have managed to reduce it to an average of four hours, which is similar to that of open surgery.

According to the hospital, such skills have grabbed the attention from medical workers from various countries such as France, Germany, Japan, China and Australia, leading them to come to SNUH to learn about the pure laparoscopic surgery.

“The surgery shortens recovery time, causes fewer injuries, increases patient satisfaction and reduces operation time to that of open surgery,” said Professor Lee Kwang-woong of the department of hepatobiliary pancreatic surgery at the hospital. “In the future, pure laparoscopic surgery will become standard surgery for all donors.”

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