The impact of standardized methods of hepatic vein reconstruction with an external iliac vein graft

Fumihiro Terasaki, Yuji Kaneoka, Atsuyuki Maeda, Yuichi Takayama, Yasuyuki Fukami, Takamasa Takahashi, Masahito Uji


Background: Liver tumors that invade the hepatic vein are surgically challenging, especially in patients with liver dysfunction. Preservation of as much of the parenchyma as possible is important; thus, when feasible, we perform hepatectomy with hepatic vein reconstruction (HVR) using an external iliac vein (EIV) graft. We conducted a retrospective study to investigate the benefit of HVR and to evaluate our procedure.
Methods: The study included patients treated by hepatectomy with HVR using EIV grafts and vascular clips. We reviewed the surgical outcomes, including total operation and HVR times, postoperative complications, and postoperative liver function.
Results: The surgeries included right HVR (n=13), left HVR (n=3), and middle HVR (n=1). The total operation time was 277±72 minutes (155–400 minutes), and the HVR time was 27±5 minutes (19–40 minutes). Graft patency was confirmed in 14 (82%) of the patients. One patient who underwent HVR with running sutures required emergency surgery due to graft thrombosis. Clavien-Dindo > grade IIIa postoperative complications occurred in 4 (23.5%) patients, but there were no treatment-related deaths.
Conclusions: In conclusion, our hepatic resections with HVR using the same techniques and graft materials showed acceptable surgical outcomes. From our experience, we believe that preparatory hepatic resection with HVR is an effective treatment, especially for patients with decreased liver function or with a small residual liver parenchyma.