The surgical anatomy of the hepatic hilar region is characterized by the three-dimensional formation of the branches of the bile duct, portal vein, and hepatic artery. The limit of ductal resection in hepatectomy for hilar cholangiocarcinoma is the most peripheral point where the hepatic ducts can be separated from the vasculature. The limit is different for each type of hepatectomy because the portal vein branches that should be preserved or divided vary with the extent of the hepatectomy, and therefore the limit of separation of the hepatic ducts differs. Surgeons are required to understand the surgical anatomy and to identify the precise area of cancer spread on a preoperative cholangiogram so as to choose the appropriate type of hepatectomy, and to ensure that the remnant ductal margin is cancer-negative.
Hilar cholangiocarcinoma Limit of ductal resection Hepatectomy Cholangiogram
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