Early recovery pathway for hepatectomy: data-driven liver resection care and recovery

Susanne G. Warner, Zeljka Jutric, Liana Nisimova, Yuman Fong


In recent years, great progress has been made toward safer hepatobiliary surgical interventions. This has resulted in more widely available treatments for patients who in the past were ineligible for curative resection of primary liver tumors, liver metastases, and advanced biliary tumors. However, the rise in procedures has seen increasingly heterogeneous perioperative management, yielding strikingly disparate outcomes. A number of groups have attempted to standardize perioperative care in an effort to create enhanced recovery pathways (ERPs) and provide clinicians with a dependable roadmap to success following hepatectomy. In the future, each aspect of perioperative care could be pre-ordained with emphasis on nutrition, anesthesia, prophylaxis, use of surgical drains, post-operative fluid and electrolyte management, and contact with physician extenders following discharge. This article reviews the data behind ERPs preceding and following hepatectomy. It includes primary data justifying practices in post-hepatectomy support. It also touches on the benefits of minimally invasive hepatectomy and offers future directions for research in peri-hepatectomy ERPs. Overall, this article seeks to formulate a pathway for practice based on data, with enough details to allow creation of rational order sets for efficient and superior practice.