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Reconstruction of the portal and hepatic veins using venous grafts customized from the bilateral gonadal veins

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Surgical resection for pancreatic and hepatic cancer sometimes involves combined resection and reconstruction of the major veins using venous grafts. Autologous venous grafts made from the bilateral gonadal veins (BGVs) have never been utilized or discussed.

Materials and methods

We reconstructed the portal vein (PV), superior mesenteric vein (SMV), and middle hepatic vein (MHV) using cylindrical or patch grafts customized from the BGVs in two female patients and in one male patient. In order to assess the sexual difference in the availability of the cylindrical graft to replace these major veins, we measured the diameters of the BGVs, PV, SMV, and MHV on computed tomography in 50 male and 50 female patients, and estimated the diameter-ratios (DRs) of the cylindrical graft made from BGVs/PV, SMV, and MHV. We assumed that the cutoff value of the DR would be 0.8, for replacing of major veins using cylindrical grafts.


The reconstructed PV, SMV, and MHV presented sufficient patency, and the postoperative courses were uneventful. The DRs of BGVs graft/PV, graft/SMV, and graft/MHV were significantly larger in female patients than those in male patients (0.82 vs. 0.54, p < 0.01, 0.96 vs. 0.61, p < 0.01, 1.39 vs. 0.95; p < 0.01) and were larger than 0.8 in 50%, 70%, and 92% in female patients, respectively, and 0%, 8%, and 68% in male patients, respectively.


The present newly customized cylindrical and patch grafts made from the BGVs showed sufficient feasibility. A cylindrical graft made from the BGVs would be better utilized in female patients than in male patients.

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Supported in part by Grant-in-Aid for scientific research from the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, and the Ministry of Health and Welfare of Japan

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Correspondence to Yoshihiro Sakamoto.

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Yamamoto, Y., Sakamoto, Y., Nara, S. et al. Reconstruction of the portal and hepatic veins using venous grafts customized from the bilateral gonadal veins. Langenbecks Arch Surg 394, 1115–1121 (2009).

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