Technique of vessel-skeletonized parenchyma-sparing hepatectomy for the oncological treatment of bilobar colorectal liver metastases

Langenbecks Arch Surg. 2022 Mar;407(2):685-697. doi: 10.1007/s00423-021-02373-9. Epub 2021 Nov 27.


Background: To aid in the oncological management of multiple bilobar colorectal liver metastases (CRLMs), we describe a new surgical procedure, VEssel-Skeletonized PArenchyma-sparing Hepatectomy (VESPAH).

Study design: Of 152 patients with CRLMs treated with hepatectomy, 33 patients had multiple bilobar liver metastases (≥8 liver metastases); their surgical procedures and clinical outcomes were retrospectively summarized and compared between those who underwent VESPAH and those who underwent major hepatectomy (Major Hx).

Results: Of the 33 patients, 20 patients were resected by VESPAH (the VESPAH group) and 13 patients by major hepatectomy (Major Hx group). The median number of CRLMs was 13 (range, 8-53) in the VESPAH group and 10 (range, 8-41) in the Major Hx group (P=0.511). No operative mortality nor severe morbidity was observed in either group. The VESPAH group showed earlier recovery of remnant liver function after surgery than the Major Hx group; the incidence of grade B/C post hepatectomy liver failure was 5% in the VESPAH group and 38% in the Major Hx group, P=0.048). Intrahepatic tumor recurrence was confirmed in 14 (70%) and 7 (54%) patients in the VESPAH and Major Hx groups, respectively (P=0.416). There was no significant difference in median overall survival (OS) after hepatectomy between the two groups; the median OS was 47 months in the VESPAH group and 33 months in the Major Hx group (P=0.481). The VESPAH group showed the higher induction rate of adjuvant chemotherapy within 2 months after surgery (P=0.002) and total number of repeat hepatectomy for intrahepatic recurrence (P=0.060) than the Major Hx group.

Conclusions: VESPAH enables us to clear surgical navigation by hepatic vessel skeletonization and may enhance patient tolerability of not only adjuvant chemotherapy but also repeat hepatectomies during the patients' lifetimes.

Keywords: Colorectal cancer; Hepatectomy; Liver metastasis; Parenchyma-sparing; Vessel skeletonization.

MeSH terms

  • Colorectal Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Hepatectomy / methods
  • Humans
  • Liver Failure* / etiology
  • Liver Neoplasms*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / surgery
  • Retrospective Studies