Evolution of non-operative management of liver trauma

Trauma Surg Acute Care Open. 2020 Nov 3;5(1):e000551. doi: 10.1136/tsaco-2020-000551. eCollection 2020.


The management of complex liver injury has changed during the last 30 years. Operative management has evolved into a non-operative management (NOM) approach, with surgery reserved for those who present in extremis or become hemodynamically unstable despite resuscitation. This NOM approach has been associated with improved survival rates in severe liver injury and has been the mainstay of treatment for the last 20 years. Patients that fail NOM and require emergency surgery are associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Better patient selection may have an impact not only on the rate of failure of NOM, but the mortality rate associated with it. The aim of this article is to review the evidence that helped shape the evolution of liver injury management during the last 30 years.

Keywords: abdominal injuries; hemorrhagic; liver; shock.

Publication types

  • Review