Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery

, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 814–821

Associating Liver Partition and Portal Vein Ligation for Staged Hepatectomy (ALPPS): Tips and Tricks


  • Fernando A. Alvarez
    • General Surgery ServiceHospital Italiano de Buenos Aires
  • Victoria Ardiles
    • General Surgery ServiceHospital Italiano de Buenos Aires
  • Rodrigo Sanchez Claria
    • General Surgery ServiceHospital Italiano de Buenos Aires
  • Juan Pekolj
    • General Surgery ServiceHospital Italiano de Buenos Aires
    • General Surgery ServiceHospital Italiano de Buenos Aires
How I do it

DOI: 10.1007/s11605-012-2092-2

Cite this article as:
Alvarez, F.A., Ardiles, V., Sanchez Claria, R. et al. J Gastrointest Surg (2013) 17: 814. doi:10.1007/s11605-012-2092-2



Posthepatectomy liver failure is the most severe complication after major hepatectomies and it is associated with an insufficient future liver remnant (FLR). Associating liver partition and portal vein ligation (PVL) has recently been described as a revolutionary strategy to induce a rapid and large FLR volume increase. We aim to describe our surgical technique, patient management, and preliminary results with this new two-stage approach.


During the first stage, liver partition and PVL of the diseased hemiliver are performed. The completion surgery is carried out after volumetric studies have demonstrated a sufficient FLR and provided the patient is in good condition. This is usually achieved after 7 days. In the second step, the patient undergoes a completion surgery with right hepatectomy, right trisectionectomy, or left trisectionectomy.


Fifteen patients with advanced liver tumors were treated. Nine patients were males and the mean age was 54 years old. The mean difference between the preoperative and postoperative FLR volume was 303 ml (p < 0.001), which represented a mean volume increase of 78.4 %. All resections were R0. Morbidity and mortality rates were 53 and 0 %, respectively. The average hospital stay was 19 days.


The presented technique was feasible and safe in the hands of experienced hepatobiliary surgeons, with satisfactory short-term results. It induces rapid liver hypertrophy and at the same time it offers the possibility of cure to patients previously declared unresectable.


Portal vein ligationLiver tumorsMetastasesSurgical techniqueHypertrophy

Copyright information

© The Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract 2012