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Anatomical justification of Belghiti's 'liver hanging manoeuvre' in right hepatectomy with anterior approach


, : Anatomical justification of Belghiti's 'liver hanging manoeuvre' in right hepatectomy with anterior approach. Anz Journal of Surgery 73(6): 407-409

In cases of right hepatectomy for huge tumour encroaching onto the diaphragm, the 'anterior approach' is the most common surgical procedure undertaken. The 'liver hanging manoeuvre' has been described previously as an adjunct to this procedure. It involves the dissection of a retrohepatic avascular plane anterior to the surface of the inferior vena cava. A tape is then passed through and the liver is resected under suspension. Cadaveric specimens were used to identify the structural relationship of the avascular plane and also to determine whether it is truly avascular. Thirteen cases were analysed. The mean length of the avascular tunnel was 6.4 +/- 1.0 cm. The median number of accessory hepatic veins within the tunnel was two (zero to three). At the caudal half of the tunnel, the median number of veins was two (zero to three). As for the cranial half of the tunnel, there were two cases with one vein in each. The key to the liver hanging manoeuvre is to develop the retrohepatic tunnel. However, our study showed that it is not absolutely avascular. During the blind dissection, there is a chance of damaging a retrohepatic vein. This may result in troublesome haemorrhage within the confines of the tunnel. Video-assisted dissection of this region may help in visualisation, and hence control, in order to avoid bleeding.

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PMID: 12801339


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