The learning curve of deceased donor liver transplant during fellowship training

Adeel S. Khan, Sandra Garcia-Aroz, Neeta Vachharajani, Heidy Cos, Ola Ahmed, Meranda Scherer, Sarah Matson, Jason M. Wellen, Surendra Shenoy, William C. Chapman, Majella B. Doyle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Liver transplantation (LT) is a complex operation that most transplant surgeons learn in fellowship. Training varies as there is lack of objective data that can be used to standardize teaching. We performed a retrospective review of our adult LT database with aim of looking at fellow's experience. Using American Society of Transplant Surgery cutoff of, at least 45 LT during fellowship, data for first 45 LT were compared to LT 45–90. Fellow's cases were also clustered in sequential groups of 15 LT and analyzed to estimate the learning curve (LC). Comparison of LT 1–45 with LT 46–90 showed significantly lower total operative times (TOT) (324 vs. 344 min) and warm ischemia times (WIT) (28 vs. 31 min) in the 45–90 group. Rates of biliary complications (23.8% vs. 16.4%) and bile leaks alone (10.3% vs. 5.5%) were significantly higher for first 45 LT. Analysis of fellows experience in sequential clusters of 15 LT showed decreasing TOT, WIT, biliary complications and rates of unplanned return to the OR with progression of fellowship. This study validates the current ASTS requirement of at least 45 LT. LC generated using these data can help individualize training and optimize outcomes through identification of areas in need of improvement. (Figure presented.).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3573-3582
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Transplantation
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • clinical research/practice
  • education
  • liver transplantation/hepatology
  • lung (allograft) function/dysfunction


Dive into the research topics of 'The learning curve of deceased donor liver transplant during fellowship training'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this