A new technique for resecting 'unresectable' liver tumors

Riccardo A Superina*, Daniel Bambini, Robert M. Filler, P. Stephen Almond, Grant Geissler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Background/Purpose: Liver tumors that surround the three major hepatic veins traditionally have been considered unresectable. This report describes an extended atypical left hepatectomy technique for tumors around the major hepatic veins. Methods: Three children with tumors surrounding the 3 hepatic veins underwent intraoperative evaluation for extended atypical left hepatectomy. The left hepatic artery, left branch of the portal vein, and the 3 hepatic veins are occluded with vascular clamps. Perfusion of the remaining liver is through the right hepatic artery and portal vein into the retrohepatic vena cava via the retro hepatic veins. If the liver remains soft and does not become mottled, division of the 3 hepatic veins and resection of the tumor are carried out. Results: Extended atypical left hepatectomy was successful in 2 children. Bile leak occurred in 1 instance and healed spontaneously. Both patients had transiently elevated serum bilirubin and transaminase levels and an elevated prothrombin time for 2 weeks. Both survived after treatment with chemotherapy. In the third child the liver became tense and mottled, and the procedure was abandoned. Conclusions: Successful extended atypical left hepatectomy depends on the ability of the retro hepatic veins to adequately drain blood into the vena cava after interruption (clamping) of the main hepatic veins. If the liver becomes mottled and tense the procedure must be abandoned and the patient should be considered for hepatic transplantation. Copyright (C) 2000 by W.B. Saunders Company.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1294-1299
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pediatric Surgery
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000


  • Extended atypical left hepatic resection hepatic vein involvement by tumor
  • Hepatoblastoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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