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Vascular clamping in liver surgery: physiology, indications and techniques

Elie K Chouillard1*, Andrew A Gumbs2 and Daniel Cherqui3

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Surgery, Centre Hospitalier Intercommunal, Poissy, France

2 Department of Surgical Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA 19111, USA

3 Digestive Surgery Department, Hôpital Henri Mondor - University Paris-XII, Créteil, France

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Annals of Surgical Innovation and Research 2010, 4:2  doi:10.1186/1750-1164-4-2

Published: 26 March 2010


This article reviews the historical evolution of hepatic vascular clamping and their indications. The anatomic basis for partial and complete vascular clamping will be discussed, as will the rationales of continuous and intermittent vascular clamping.

Specific techniques discussed and described include inflow clamping (Pringle maneuver, extra-hepatic selective clamping and intraglissonian clamping) and outflow clamping (total vascular exclusion, hepatic vascular exclusion with preservation of caval flow). The fundamental role of a low Central Venous Pressure during open and laparoscopic hepatectomy is described, as is the difference in their intra-operative measurements. The biological basis for ischemic preconditioning will be elucidated. Although the potential dangers of vascular clamping and the development of modern coagulation devices question the need for systemic clamping; the pre-operative factors and unforseen intra-operative events that mandate the use of hepatic vascular clamping will be highlighted.