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Ann Vasc Surg. 2000 Sep;14(5):436-43.

Transabdominal surgical approach in the management of renal tumors involving the retrohepatic inferior vena cava.

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Division of Vascular Surgery, Hospital Clinico Universitario, Valladolid, Spain.


Multiple reports over the last decade have documented the clear superiority of surgery over other alternative treatments in the management of renal cell carcinoma with extension into the inferior vena cava (IVC). Controversy persists, however, regarding the management of tumor thrombus that extends retrohepatically, but not entering the right atrium. In this report, we retrospectively review our experience with the use of a feasible transabdominal technique without any form of bypass or anticoagulation for safe removal of renal tumor involving the retrohepatic IVC. From 1988 to 1998, 132 patients with renal cell carcinoma underwent radical nephrectomies at the urology service of our hospital. Five patients (3.8%) had retrohepatic venous extension through the renal vein into the IVC. Our transabdominal approach was accomplished by complete mobilization of the liver, control of the hepatocaval connection, total vascular exclusion of the IVC without heparin administration, removal of the tumor thrombus, and primary closure of the longitudinal vena cavotomy. From our results, we found the transabdominal approach with total vascular exclusion of the IVC to be satisfactory, with no early deaths, acceptable morbidity, and a remarkable limitation of blood loss and transfusion requirements.

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