World Journal of Surgery

, Volume 29, Issue 11, pp 1384–1396 | Cite as

Vascular Control during Hepatectomy: Review of Methods and Results

  • Vassilios Smyrniotis
  • Charalampos Farantos
  • Georgia Kostopanagiotou
  • Nikolaos Arkadopoulos


The various techniques of hepatic vascular control are presented, focusing on the indications and drawbacks of each. Retrospective and prospective clinical studies highlight aspects of the pathophysiology, indications, and morbidity of the various techniques of hepatic vascular control. Newer perspectives on the field emerge from the introduction of ischemic preconditioning and laparoscopic hepatectomy. A literature review based on computer searches in Index Medicus and PubMed focuses mainly on prospective studies comparing techniques and large retrospective ones. All methods of hepatic vascular control can be applied with minimal mortality by experienced surgeons and are effective for controlling bleeding. The Pringle maneuver is the oldest and simplest of these methods and is still favored by many surgeons. Intermittent application of the Pringle maneuver and hemihepatic occlusion or inflow occlusion with extraparenchymal control of major hepatic veins is particularly indicated for patients with abnormal parenchyma. Total hepatic vascular exclusion is associated with considerable morbidity and hemodynamic intolerance in 10% to 20% of patients. It is absolutely indicated only when extensive reconstruction of the inferior vena cava (IVC) is warranted. Major hepatic veins/ and limited IVC reconstruction has been also achieved under inflow occlusion with extraparenchymal control of major hepatic veins or even using the intermittent Pringle maneuver. Ischemic preconditioning is strongly recommended for patients younger than 60 years and those with steatotic livers. Each hepatic vascular control technique has its place in liver surgery, depending on tumor location, underlying liver disease, patient cardiovascular status, and, most important, the experience of the surgical and anesthesia team.


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Copyright information

© Société Internationale de Chirurgie 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vassilios Smyrniotis
    • 1
  • Charalampos Farantos
    • 1
  • Georgia Kostopanagiotou
    • 2
  • Nikolaos Arkadopoulos
    • 1
  1. 1.Second Department of SurgeryAthens University Medical School, Aretaieion HospitalGreece
  2. 2.Second Department of AnesthesiologyAthens University Medical School, Attikon General University HospitalHaidariGreece

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