The role of liver resection in the management of severe blunt liver trauma

Ulus Travma Acil Cerrahi Derg. 2022 Dec;29(1):122-129. doi: 10.14744/tjtes.2021.89678.


Background: The management of hepatic trauma has a historical progress from mandatory operation with selective non-operative treatment, to non-operative treatment with selective operation. Liver resection (LR) seems to have a minimal role in the management of liver injury. However, surgical treatment becomes the only life-saving treatment in cases with severe liver trauma.

Methods: It is a retrospective presentation of five cases with severe blunt liver injury whose were admitted at our center during the 8-year period.

Results: The median age of patients was 30.8 (23-43). The most frequent mechanism of injury was pedestrian struck (60%). Two of five cases were transferred to our hospital from rural state hospitals after initial attempt to achieving hemostasis. The majority of liver injury was grade V (80%). The right lobe of the liver was injured in different extensions. Major vascular injury was associated to liver injury in four of five cases. The right hepatectomy (n=1), resectional debridement of segments 5, 6, and 7 (n=1), posterior sectorectomy (n=2), and segment 7 resection (n=1) were performed for hemostasis. Vascular injuries in the junction of inferior vena cava and right hepatic vein (n=1), the anterior surface of the right hepatic vein (n=1), the junction of segment 7 hepatic vein and right hepatic vein (n=1), the main portal vein (n=1), and the right renal vein (n=1) were repaired. Median operation time was 162 min (120-180 min). Operative mortality was 20%. Reoperation was needed in three of four survived cases. In-hospital complications were observed in two of four survived cases. Median stay in intensive care unit and hospital was 12.4 days (1-48 days) and 28.2 days (1-65 days), respectively.

Conclusion: When a severe liver injury is unresponsive to packing, the surgeon must always keep in mind that extensive maneuvers for vascular control and LR are required for bleeding control.

MeSH terms

  • Hepatectomy*
  • Hepatic Veins
  • Humans
  • Liver / blood supply
  • Liver / surgery
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Vena Cava, Inferior
  • Wounds, Nonpenetrating* / surgery