Anterior approach for difficult major right hepatectomy

World J Surg. 1996 Mar-Apr;20(3):314-7; discussion 318. doi: 10.1007/s002689900050.


In selected patients with huge right hepatic tumors that had infiltrated the surrounding structures, injudicious mobilization of the liver before transection, as in the conventional manner, may result in excessive bleeding, prolonged ischemia from rotation of the hepatoduodenal ligament, and spillage of cancer cells into the systemic circulation. Alternatively, the "anterior" approach, which involves initial completion of the parenchymal transection before the right hepatic lobe is mobilized, can be adopted for these patients with difficult right hepatic tumors. After hilar control of the inflow vessels, liver parenchyma was transected using an ultrasonic dissector until the anterior surface of the inferior vena cava is exposed. The right hepatic lobe is then mobilized laterally by securing all venous tributaries, including the right hepatic vein. The prospective data of 25 patients who had major right hepatectomy using the "anterior" approach were compared with data from 34 patients who had their operation performed in the conventional manner. Despite the facts that larger tumors (p < 0.004), more extrahepatic structures (p < 0.05), and the caudate lobes (p < 0.03) were resected, the amount of perioperative blood transfusion, fluid replacement, and outcome between the two groups of patients were comparable. There were three hospital deaths, among which one could be attributed to an intraoperative catastrophe during hepatectomy using the conventional approach. The "anterior" approach is a safe, effective option for selected patients undergoing complicated major right hepatectomy.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular
  • Female
  • Hepatectomy / methods*
  • Hepatitis, Chronic / pathology
  • Hepatitis, Chronic / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Intraoperative Complications / etiology
  • Intraoperative Complications / prevention & control
  • Liver / pathology
  • Liver Cirrhosis / pathology
  • Liver Cirrhosis / surgery*
  • Liver Neoplasms / pathology
  • Liver Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged