It is crucial to have a thorough knowledge of the relevant anatomy as the procedure is performed in an area adjacent to many vital structures (portal vein, hepatic artery and extrahepatic biliary tract). Furthermore, the surgeon needs to be mindful of common anatomical variations, and the anatomical distortion due to pathological processes (e.g., acute/chronic cholecystitis). Safe execution of LC requires clear understanding of following anatomical terms/landmarks.
This is an area on the under surface of the liver on the right side of the hepatic hilum. It has CHD on the medial side, cystic duct caudally, and liver under surface cranially. This triangle contains the cystic artery, a variable portion of right hepatic artery, the cystic lymph node, lymphatics, and a variable amount of fibro-fatty connective tissue.
Clinical significance: This is the target area for dissection during LC. This triangle is different from Calot’s triangle where the cystic artery forms cephalad boundary instead of the liver surface. In literature, these terms have been used interchangeably but in present review only the term “HC triangle” has been used to maintain uniformity as the actual dissection takes place in this triangle, not in Calot’s triangle; The cystic lymph node often lies superficial to the cystic artery and acts a landmark to locate this artery. The artery should be divided on the right side of this lymph node close to the gallbladder to avoid injury to the right hepatic artery. This landmark is quite useful in difficult cases. This area may be affected by the inflammatory process during acute or chronic cholecystitis, and it may appear thick, fibrotic, or scarred, which may create difficulty in anatomical identification and/or dissection.
This is a flat ovoid fibrous sheet located in the gallbladder bed. It is a part of sheath/plate system of the liver. It is continuous with liver capsule of segment 4 (medially) and segment 5 (laterally). Postero-medially towards the hepatic hilum, it narrows to become a stout cord like structure that is continuous with the sheath of the right portal pedicle.
Clinical significance: With gallbladder in-situ, the cystic plate is not visible as it is covered by the gallbladder. It is exposed as whitish/greyish structure once the gallbladder is dissected off of the liver. It is important to expose the lower part of the cystic plate while achieving the CVS as discussed subsequently in this article. The CVS is considered incomplete without this exposure as an anomalous duct (e.g., right posterior sectional duct) may exit the liver or an anomalous right hepatic artery may enter the liver in this area. These structures may be at risk of injury if not identified properly. While the fundus and most of the body of the gallbladder remains closely adherent to the cystic plate, a layer of loose areolar tissue between the gallbladder wall and the cystic plate thickens towards the hilum. It is important to remain close to the gallbladder wall while dissecting it off the liver leaving behind the areolar tissue that is attached to the cystic plate while dissecting the neck of the gallbladder and the cystic duct. It is important not to breach the cystic plate while dissecting the gallbladder off the liver. Breaching the cystic plate during this step may cause two problems. First, there might be troublesome bleeding from liver parenchyma, especially if the terminal tributaries of the middle hepatic vein (which lie in this location) are injured. Second, sub-vesical bile ducts (coursing superficially close to gallbladder fossa) may be injured, causing a postoperative bile leak . Such a breach is more likely to occur in chronic cholecystitis where the gallbladder may be densely adherent to the underlying liver without distinct dissection planes. In chronic cholecystitis with a small and contracted gallbladder, the longitudinal length of the cystic plate from the fundus to its attachment with right portal pedicle sheath becomes short. Without appreciating this pathologic shortening, the surgeon may enter into the right portal pedicle sheath soon after the dissecting the fundus/body of the gallbladder if the fundus first technique is attempted. This may cause injure to the right portal pedicle structures causing serious VBI.
This sulcus is 2-5 cm long and is present on the under surface of the right lobe of the liver, running to the right of the hepatic hilum. It is easily visible in most (80%) of the cases where it remains open (partly or fully) and it usually contains right portal pedicle or its branches. During LC, it is best seen when the gallbladder neck is retracted towards the umbilical fissure. Clinical significance: The visible open sulcus acts as a fixed anatomical landmark during LC. It reliably indicates the plane of the CBD thus helps to reorient surgeon in cases of difficultly. All the dissection during the LC must be done ventral and cephalad to the line joining the roof of this sulcus and base of segment 4 (R4U line) as discussed later. During posterior dissection in the HC triangle, the dissection may be safely started by dividing the peritoneum immediately ventral and cephalad to the sulcus. Umbilical fissure This is a fissure between the left lateral section (segments 2, 3) and left medial section (segment 4) where the falciform ligament and ligamentum teres lie.
Clinical significance: This also acts as a fixed anatomical landmark, and helps the operating surgeon to reorient in difficult situations.
This is the left medial section of the liver. During LC it is identified easily by its location between the umbilical fissure and the gallbladder.
Clinical significance: The base of segment 4 acts as a fixed landmark. All the dissection in the HC triangle should be done cephalad to the R4U line. The initial assessment of size of this segment is important. This can be easily done by looking at the distance between the umbilical fissure and the gallbladder. Certain congenital conditions like segment 4 hypoplasia and ectopic gallbladder may need to be assessed correctly before the dissection begins to avoid inadvertent injury to bile duct.
As the HC triangle is the primary surgical field during LC, it is important to know the clinically significant anatomic variations occurring in this area. These variations may pose challenges to the unfamiliar surgeon with a potential for BDI/VBI. Vascular anomalies: The cystic artery and the right hepatic artery (RHA) are two important vessels of concern during LC. The cystic artery is usually single (approximately 79%), originates from RHA, and most commonly (81.5%) traverses the HC triangle to supply the gallbladder throught its two branches – superficial and deep. However, this artery may have variations in its origin, number, or course. The most important of these variations includes: (1) the cystic artery passing anterior to the common hepatic/bile duct (17.9%); (2) a short (1 cm) cystic artery (9.5%); (3) multiple cystic arteries (8.9%); and (4) the cystic artery located inferior to the cystic duct (4.9%).
Clinical importance: If the presence of a short cystic artery is not appreciated during surgery, the right hepatic artery may be clipped and divided in a manner similar to that of the classic BDI. Keeping the dissection of the artery close to the gallbladder on the right side of the cystic lymph node (a fixed landmark) may prevent injury to the right hepatic artery. When the cystic artery arises from the gastroduodenal or left hepatic artery, it doesn’t pass through the HC triangle so can’t be localised during dissection in this triangle. When it arises from the gastroduodenal artery, the cystic artery passes inferior to the cystic duct (low lying cystic artery).
Anatomic variations of RHA are common. It usually passes behind the CHD (87%) before entering the HC triangle. An aberrant right hepatic artery (replaced or accessary) is also not uncommon. A replaced right hepatic artery, after coursing from behind the portal vein and CBD, comes to lie on the right side of the bile duct, and then travels close to the cystic duct and gallbladder and joins the right pedicle high up in the HC triangle.
Clinical importance: During dissection in the HC triangle, a replaced right hepatic artery may appear as a large cystic artery, and might be injured if not identified correctly. The right hepatic artery may take a tortuous course (Caterpillar turn/Moynihan’s hump) within the HC triangle, and it may lie very close to the gallbladder and the cystic duct before giving off a short cystic artery. Again, this aberrant course makes the right hepatic artery prone to injury during cholecystectomy.
Biliary ductal anomalies Important ductal anomalies relevant to LC involve variations in the cystic duct and right hepatic ductal system. The cystic duct is usually 2-4 cm long and 2-3 mm wide. It may be congenitally absent (very rare) or very long (5 cm or more). Usually it joins the CHD at an angle (angular insertion, 75%) but its course may be parallel (20%) or spiral (5%). It usually enters the CHD but there are variations: it may enter the right hepatic duct (0.6%-2.3%), anomalous right sectional duct, or CHD quite low near the ampulla. An anomalous right sectional duct, especially a right posterior sectional duct, may join the biliary tree at a level lower than usual. Rarely, there might be duplication of the CBD.
Clinical importance: The length and course of the cystic duct and its joining pattern with CHD are variable. However, its entire course and its junction with the CBD do not need to be delineated during LC as it is not required and it will put the bile duct at risk of injury specially in case of parallel insertion where the part of the cystic duct may be adherent to the CHD due to inflammation. A congenitally absent cystic duct is a very rare condition. If the cystic duct is not apparent during cholecystectomy then either it is short or it may be effaced by the stone or the Mirizzi syndrome is present.
The surgeon should be careful while dissecting in the HC triangle in such situation and may need to resort to one of the bail-out techniques as discussed later. Similarly, if two cystic ducts are visible, surgeon should be very careful in labelling this as double cystic ducts and dividing these structures. The anatomy should be clarified [e.g., with intraoperative cholangiography (IOC)] as these two ducts may be CBD and the CHD with a very short or effaced cystic duct, indicating that the dissection has gone behind the bile duct rather than through the HC triangle. The cystic duct diameter may be as much as 5 mm due to the passage of stone, and in this situation it may be confused with CBD. Inability to completely occlude the cystic duct with a medium-large clip should raise the suspicion of it to be CBD and this should be clarified (with proper display of CVS, and/or intraoperative imaging) before clipping and division. Anomalous low insertion of a right sectional duct (usually posterior), especially when the cystic duct joins it, will put this sectional duct at risk of injury if the surgeon is unaware of this variation and does not achieve CVS as discussed subsequently.
Femoral hernia is not as common as inguinal hernia. It is often associated with incarceration or strangulation, resulting in peritonitis and mortality.
The pelvicrural interval (the opening from the abdomen to the thigh) is divided into two spaces: a lateral space, the lacuna musculosa, through which the iliopsoas muscles pass; and a medial space, the lacuna vasculosa, for the femoral vessels. The external iliac vessels run along the anterior surface of the iliopsoas muscle in the pelvis, pass between the iliopubic tract and Cooper’s ligament, and finally course beneath the inguinal ligament to become the femoral vessels. Where the external iliac vessels run down into the lacuna vasculosa, transversalis fascia covers the vessels to form the femoral sheath. It extends approximately 4 cm caudally and ends as the adventitia of the femoral vessels. The medial compartment of the femoral sheath is called the femoral canal, which is ordinarily less than 2 cm in diameter and contains lymphatic vessels and glands. The true opening of the femoral canal is a musculoaponeurotic ring, consisting of Cooper’s ligament inferiorly, the femoral vein laterally, and iliopubic tract superiorly and medially. In the past, the medial border of the femoral ring was for the lacunar ligament. The lacunar ligament is an attachment of the inguinal ligament to the pubic bone, however, and lies in the outer layer of the transversalis fascia.
McVay demonstrated that the medial boundary of the femoral ring is the lateral edge of the aponeurosis of the insertion of the transversus abdominis muscle with transversalis fascia onto the pectin of the pubis, not the lacunar ligament. Condon also demonstrated that the iliopubic tract bridges the femoral canal and then curves posteriorly and inferiorly, its fibers spreading fanwise to insert adjacent to Cooper’s ligament into a broad area of the superior ramus of the pubis. Thus, the true inner ring of the femoral canal is bounded by the iliopubic tract anteriorly and medially, and by Cooper’s ligament posteriorly. If a surgeon incises the inguinal ligament in a tightly incarcerated femoral hernia, he or she will find that the hernia cannot be reduced because of the more deeply placed ring. The distal orifice has a rigid boundary—surrounded by the lacunar ligament medially; the inguinal ligament superiorly; and the fascia of the pectineal muscle—and is usually less than 1 cm in diameter. The rigidity of these structures is the reason why strangulation often occurs in femoral hernias.
Currently, the ‘‘acquired’’ theory is widely accepted; however, the true cause of femoral hernia is not known. McVay demonstrated that the width of the femoral ring, which is determined by the length of the fanwise insertion of the iliopubic tract to Cooper’ ligament, is the main etiologic factor of the femoral hernia. Considering that the femoral hernia is very rare in children and most common in elderly women, however, McVay’s concept cannot be the only reason for the occurrence of femoral hernia. Nyhus noted the presence of a relatively large femoral defect without an accompanying femoral hernia during the preperitoneal approach. This may be caused by the acquired weakness of the transversalis fascia and a consequent predisposition to the development of the femoral hernia.
The ratio of femoral hernia relative to all groin hernias is reported to be 2% to 8% in adults . Femoral hernias are very rare in children, and most commonly observed between the ages of 40 and 70. The peak distribution is in the 50s, with a slight decrease in the 60s and 70s. As for sex distribution, femoral hernia is 4 to 5 times more common in female than in male; however, there are some reports that it is more common in men than in women. A right-sided presentation is more common than left, but the reason is not known.
Finally, femoral hernia is usually thought of as requiring emergency surgical treatment. Only 30% of our cases were treated as emergency operations, however, whereas 70% were elective. Unless patients complain of severe abdominal pain or ileus, surgeons need not perform emergency operations. In summary, the mesh plug hernia repair for femoral hernia has resulted in a reduced recurrence rate, shortened hospital stay, and a low rate of postoperative complications.
In the setting of a normal ejection fraction, fluid is only administered when the expectation is that cardiac output will increase, and vasopressors are utilized if the aforementioned devices show fluid will not increase cardiac output. Excess fluid in certain general surgical cases can cause ileus and bowel edema, and in cardiac cases, it can cause hemodilution. Patients randomized to restricted and liberal fluid resuscitation strategies found a clear linear relationship between total fluids administered (and weight gain) and complications following colorectal surgery including pulmonary edema and tissue-healing complications. Further multiple studies exist demonstrating fewer complications with normovolemia than with liberal strategies of fluid resuscitation.
It must be understood that goal-directed therapy does, in no way, mean reduction in fluid administration. For some procedures, it may be necessary to administer more than anticipated fluid volumes (orthopedics), while for others, the opposite may be true (abdominal). Normovolemia is important to maintain perfusion without volume overload. Thus, the idea behind goaldirected therapy is to maintain zero fluid balance coupled with minimal weight gain or loss. Hypovolemia is associated with reduced circulating blood volume, decreased renal perfusion, altered coagulation, microcirculation compromise, and endothelial dysfunction, among other processes. Hypervolemia is associated with splanchnic edema, decreased pulmonary gas exchange secondary to pulmonary edema, impaired wound healing, anastomotic dehiscence, decreased mobility, altered coagulation, and endothelial dysfunction, amidst others processes.
From a recent Cochrane review, there is no evidence that colloids are superior to crystalloid for resuscitation in patients. Therefore, crystalloid fluids should generally be the primary intravenous fluid during the perioperative course. In cardiac surgery, the utilization of 0.9% normal saline solution was associated with hyperchloremia and poor postoperative outcomes, including higher length of stay and increased mortality.118 Further, a more balanced crystalloid, such as Plasma-Lyte, was associated with improved outcomes in 22,851 surgical patients. In this study, there was a 2.05 odds ratio predictor of mortality with normal saline. Other complications such as acute kidney injury, gastrointestinal complications, major hemorrhage, and major infection were also increased in the group of
patients that were hyperchloremic after normal saline administration. Based on such evidence, it would seem prudent to proceed with a more balanced solution, such as PlasmaLyte, to reduce complications.
Organ specialization and case load have been a big issue during recent years and for most cancers a direct relation between high volume and a better outcome has been demonstrated by reviewing the recent literature. Concentration in clinics of high-risk procedures with a certain volume (procedures such as esophagectomy, pancreatectomy and hepatic resection) might prevent many postoperative deaths per year. Also, other procedures such as thyroidectomy and colon resections have shown the same tendency to a lesser extent. Reduction of postoperative mortality by 5% is in general as effective as toxic adjuvant treatment and should have high priority in achieving the highest quality in cancer surgery.
Not only can a reduction in morbidity and mortality be achieved but also a better functional and even financial outcome is possible. Sometimes too much attention has been focused on numbers per year, since even smaller hospitals with dedicated teams can achieve good results. It is very likely that not only volume but also training and specialization result in a better outcome. The setting of an absolute number of cases is not very productive and diverts attention from organized multidisciplinary mee-tings, appropriate infrastructure and availability of modern techniques.
The focus of interest should be directed more towards analyzing and optimizing the whole process of diagnosis and treatment, since this whole process can put the patient at severe risk, especially during the in-patient period. Avoidance of mistakes has received a lot of attention during recent years. It has resulted in interest in patient safety as a concept. Since the publication of the report To Err is Human issued by the Institute of Medicine the approach to errors has changed.
Individuals can make mistakes but a system approach concentrates on the conditions under which individuals work and tries to build defenses to overt or mitigate the effects of mistakes. This is very well visualized by the Swiss cheese model. Several layers of defense, each with its own holes, are put around a procedure. Both active failures and latent conditions cause holes in each layer. The usual way of thinking is to close the holes in the last layer of defense; however, redesigning the process and the closing of a hole in a much earlier layer will probably be more effective.
Root cause analysis is the way to go back in the process and try to identify weak points in the procedure. A good example is the incorrect position of a colostomy after an abdominoperineal resection. It is easy to blame the resident for not selecting the correct position during surgery or even marking the wrong spot the day before the operation. A better solution would be either proper training of the junior or having the right spot tattooed during the outpatient clinic by a stoma therapist.
Marking of the correct part and site of the body has become a safety measure and the patient should be instructed to ask for this procedure for there own safety. It is important to get rid of the ‘blame and shame’ culture and introduce a more open environment in which it is possible to report on near misses and mistakes. The safety climate in a surgical department can be measured in a validated way and is an essential part of a culture in which patient safety can flourish. Reduction of complications in the direct postoperative period after a surgical procedure has many aspects not related to the cancer surgery itself, but to the invasive nature of the intervention.
Great attention to every detail during the preoperative work-up and clinical period may result in the reduction of adverse events. This is what is termed ‘the first time at risk’ above. There are also examples of actions in optimizing results that are more cancer specific. For instance the use of techniques stimulating wound healing after an abdominoperineal resection such as an omentoplasty or rectal abdominis flap may prevent a delay in adjuvant systemic treatment for rectal cancer.
Careful attention towards wound healing in sarcoma will avoid postponement of the necessary adjuvant radiotherapy. Omitting a computer scan with iodine-containing contrast in the diagnostic work-up for a thyroid cancer makes postoperative radioactive treatment with iodine possible earlier resulting in a possible better outcome. Harvesting a sufficient number of lymph nodes in colon cancer may avoid discussions about the indication for adjuvant chemotherapy.
Most of the examples for patient safety in the clinical period are in relation to optimal use of multimodality treatment or to effects of surgery in general. Sometimes there has to be a balanced risk of the acceptance with a more extensive surgical procedure of a higher morbidity to achieve a better long-term cancer result. The reverse is also possible when a good short-term outcome of a local excision in rectal cancer has to be counterbalanced by a higher local recurrence rate. Quality assurance for all the participating disciplines (both diagnostic and therapeutic) is a key element in the set up of clinical prospective randomized trials.
There has been significant improvement in the perioperative results following liver resection, mainly due to techniques that help reduce blood loss during the operation. Extent of liver resection required in HCC for optimal oncologic results is still controversial. On this basis, the rationale for anatomically removing the entire segment or lobe bearing the tumor, would be to remove undetectable tumor metastases along with the primary tumor.
SIZE OF TUMOR VERSUS TUMOR FREE-MARGIN
Several retrospective studies and meta-analyses have shown that anatomical resections are safe in patients with HCC and liver dysfunction, and may offer a survival benefit. It should be noted, that most studies are biased, as non-anatomical resections are more commonly performed in patients with more advanced liver disease, which affects both recurrence and survival. It therefore remains unclear whether anatomical resections have a true long-term survival benefit in patients with HCC. Some authors have suggested that anatomical resections may provide a survival benefit in tumors between 2 and 5 cm. The rational is that smaller tumors rarely involve portal structures, and in larger tumors presence of macrovascular invasion and satellite nodules would offset the effect of aggressive surgical approach. Another important predictor of local recurrence is margin status. Generally, a tumor-free margin of 1 cm is considered necessary for optimal oncologic results. A prospective randomized trial on 169 patients with solitary HCC demonstrated that a resection margin aiming at 2 cm, safely decreased recurrence rate and improved long-term survival, when compared to a resection margin aiming at 1 cm. Therefore, wide resection margins of 2 cm is recommended, provided patient safety is not compromised.
Intraoperative ultrasound (IOUS) is an extremely important tool when performing liver resections, specifically for patients with HCC and compromised liver function. IOUS allows for localization of the primary tumor, detection of additional tumors, satellite nodules, tumor thrombus, and define relationship with bilio-vascular structures within the liver. Finally, intraoperative US-guided injection of dye, such as methylene-blue, to portal branches can clearly define the margins of the segment supplied by the portal branch and facilitate safe anatomical resection.
The anterior approach to liver resection is a technique aimed at limiting tumor manipulation to avoid tumoral dissemination, decrease potential for blood loss caused by avulsion of hepatic veins, and decrease ischemia of the remnant liver caused by rotation of the hepatoduodenal ligament. This technique is described for large HCCs located in the right lobe, and was shown in a prospective, randomized trial to reduce frequency of massive bleeding, number of patients requiring blood transfusions, and improve overall survival in this setting. This approach can be challenging, and can be facilitated by the use of the hanging maneuver.
Multiple studies have demonstrated that blood loss and blood transfusion administration are significantly associated with both short-term perioperative, and long-term oncological results in patients undergoing resection for HCC. This has led surgeons to focus on limiting operative blood loss as a major objective in liver resection. Transfusion rates of <20 % are expected in most experienced liver surgery centers. Inflow occlusion, by the use of the Pringle Maneuver represents the most commonly performed method to limit blood loss. Cirrhotic patients can tolerate total clamping time of up to 90 min, and the benefit of reduced blood loss outweighs the risks of inflow occlusion, as long as ischemia periods of 15 min are separated by at least 5 min of reperfusion. Total ischemia time of above 120 min may be associated with postoperative liver dysfunction. Additional techniques aimed at reducing blood loss include total vascular isolation, by occluding the inferior vena cava (IVC) above and below the liver, however, the hemodynamic results of IVC occlusion may be significant, and this technique has a role mainly in tumors that are adjacent to the IVC or hepatic veins.
Anesthesiologists need to assure central venous pressure is low (below 5 mmHg) by limiting fluid administration, and use of diuretics, even at the expense 470 N. Lubezky et al. of low systemic pressure and use of inotropes. After completion of the resection, large amount of crystalloids can be administered to replenish losses during parenchymal dissection.
Laparoscopic liver resections were shown to provide benefits of reduced surgical trauma, including a reduction in postoperative pain, incision-related morbidity, and shorten hospital stay. Some studies have demonstrated reduced operative bleeding with laparoscopy, attributed to the increased intra-abdominal pressure which reduces bleeding from the low-pressured hepatic veins. Additional potential benefits include a decrease in postoperative ascites and ascites-related wound complications, and fewer postoperative adhesions, which may be important in patients undergoing salvage liver transplantation. There has been a delay with the use of laparoscopy in the setting of liver cirrhosis, due to difficulties with hemostasis in the resection planes, and concerns for possible reduction of portal flow secondary to increased intraabdominal pressure. However, several recent studies have suggested that laparoscopic resection of HCC in patients with cirrhosis is safe and provides improved outcomes when compared to open resections.
Resections of small HCCs in anterior or left lateral segments are most amenable for laparoscopic resections. Larger resections, and resection of posterior-sector tumors are more challenging and should only be performed by very experienced surgeons. Long-term oncological outcomes of laparoscopic resections was shown to be equivalent to open resections on retrospective studies , but prospective studies are needed to confirm these findings. In recent years, robotic-assisted liver resections are being explored. Feasibility and safety of robotic-assisted surgery for HCC has been demonstrated in small non-randomized studies, but more experience is needed, and long-term oncologic results need to be studied, before widespread use of this technique will be recommended.
ALPPS: Associating Liver Partition with Portal vein ligation for Staged hepatectomy
The pre-operative options for inducing atrophy of the resected part and hypertrophy of the FLR, mainly PVE, were described earlier. Associating Liver Partition with Portal vein ligation for Staged hepatectomy (ALPPS) is another surgical option aimed to induce rapid hypertrophy of the FLR in patients with HCC. This technique involves a 2-stage procedure. In the first stage splitting of the liver along the resection plane and ligation of the portal vein is performed, and in the second stage, performed at least 2 weeks following the first stage, completion of the resection is performed. Patient safety is a major concern, and some studies have reported increased morbidity and mortality with the procedure. Few reports exist of this procedure in the setting of liver cirrhosis. Currently, the role of ALPPS in the setting of HCC and liver dysfunction needs to be better delineated before more widespread use is recommended.
Understanding the intrahepatic anatomy is crucial to perform liver resections and, in particular, parenchymal-sparing resections. The Couinaud’s liver segmentation system is based on the identification of the three hepatic veins and the plane passing by the portal vein bifurcation. Nowadays, Couinaud’s classification is widely used clinically, because it is best adapted for surgery and has become essential in localizing and monitoring various intrahepatic lesions.
As above-mentioned, Couinaud’s portal segmentation is entirely different from the historically defined two hemilivers based on external landmarks and is also partially different from Healey’s arteriobiliary segmen-tation. According to Couinaud’s descriptions, the right, middle and left hepatic veins divide the liver into four sectors (called suprahepatic segmentation by Couinaud), each of which is supplied by a portal pedicle that consists of a branch of the hepatic artery, portal vein and bile duct.
The middle hepatic vein runs in the main portal scissura (midplane of the liver) which separates the liver into the right and the left hemiliver. The main portal scissura moves forward from the gallbladder fossa anteriorly to the left of the suprahepatic IVC posteriorly, and in clinical practice, these external landmarks may be used as external demarcation line between the functional right and left hemiliver. Both the right and left hemilivers are further separated into sectors by the right and left portal scissura holding the right and left hepatic veins separately.
In the right hemiliver, the right portal scissura divides the right hemiliver into the right anterior sector (right paramedian sector) and the right posterior sector (right lateral sector). It is noteworthy that in the right hemiliver, Healey’s liver sections which he defined as segments are accurately the same as Couinaud’s sectors. In the left hemiliver, the left portal scissura divides the left liver into the anterior sector (left medial sector or left paramedian sector) and the posterior sector (left posterior sector or left lateral sector).
The anterior sector consists of segments 4 and 3, and the posterior sector only includes segment 2. However, in the left hemiliver, Healey’s liver sections which he defined as segments are not the same as Couinaud’s sectors. In the right hemiliver, as Healey’s sections are precisely the same as Couinaud’s sectors, the right anterior sector (section) can be further subdivided into segment 8 superiorly and segment 5 inferiorly. The right posterior sector (Healey’s section) is also further subdivided into segment 7 superiorly and segment 6 inferiorly.
In the left hemiliver, Healey’s sections are not the same as Couinaud’s sectors. The Healey’s left medial section locates between the main portal scissura and the falciform ligament, and it is comprised only of segment 4, which can further be subdivided into segment 4A superiorly and segment 4B inferiorly, while the Healey’s left lateral section is comprised of segments 2 and 3, being divided by the left hepatic vein which runs in the left portal scissura.
For the Couinaud’s left medial sector, it is comprised of segments 3 and 4, locating between the middle hepatic vein running in the main portal scissura and the left hepatic vein running in the left portal scissura. The falciform ligament and the umbilical fissure separate segment 4 from segment 3. The Couinaud’s left lateral sector, which is located within the left territory of the left hepatic vein, is comprised only of segment 2. The caudate lobe is defined as segment 1 in both the Couinaud’s portal and the Healey’s arteriobiliary segmentation systems. This segment is surrounded by the major vascular structures, with the retrohepatic posteriorly, the main portal pedicle inferiorly and the hepatocaval confluence superiorly. Its inflow vasculature originates from both the right and the left portal pedicles, and its biliary drainage exists as a similar pattern. Its venous drainage directly enters into the retrohepatic IVC.
After the first major hepatic resection, a left hepatic resection, carried out in 1888 by Carl Langenbuch, it took another 20 years before the first right hepatectomy was described by Walter Wendel in 1911. Three years before, in 1908, Hogarth Pringle provided the first description of a technique of vascular control, the portal triad clamping, nowadays known as the Pringle maneuver. Liver surgery has progressed rapidly since then. Modern surgical concepts and techniques, together with advances in anesthesiological care, intensive care medicine, perioperative imaging, and interventional radiology, together with multimodal oncological concepts, have resulted in fundamental changes. Perioperative outcome has improved significantly, and even major hepatic resections can be performed with morbidity and mortality rates of less than 45% and 4% respectively in highvolume liver surgery centers. Many liver surgeries performed routinely in specialized centers today were considered to be high-risk or nonresectable by most surgeons less than 1–2 decades ago.Interestingly, operative blood loss remains the most important predictor of postoperative morbidity and mortality, and therefore vascular control remains one of the most important aspects in liver surgery.
“Bleeding control is achieved by vascular control and optimized and careful parenchymal transection during liver surgery, and these two concepts are cross-linked.”
First described by Pringle in 1908, it has proven effective in decreasing haemorrhage during the resection of the liver tissue. It is frequently used, and it consists in temporarily occluding the hepatic artery and the portal vein, thus limiting the flow of blood into the liver, although this also results in an increased venous pressure in the mesenteric territory. Hemodynamic repercussion during the PM is rare because it only diminishes the venous return in 15% of cases. The cardiovascular system slightly increases the systemic vascular resistance as a compensatory response, thereby limiting the drop in the arterial pressure. Through the administration of crystalloids, it is possible to maintain hemodynamic stability.
In the 1990s, the PM was used continuously for 45 min and even up to an hour because the depth of the potential damage that could occur due to hepatic ischemia was not yet known. During the PM, the lack of oxygen affects all liver cells, especially Kupffer cells which represent the largest fixed macrophage mass. When these cells are deprived of oxygen, they are an endless source of production of the tumour necrosis factor (TNF) and interleukins 1, 6, 8 and 10. IL 6 has been described as the cytokine that best correlates to postoperative complications. In order to mitigate the effects of continuous PM, intermittent clamping of the portal pedicle has been developed. This consists of occluding the pedicle for 15 min, removing the clamps for 5 min, and then starting the manoeuvre again. This intermittent passage of the hepatic tissue through ischemia and reperfusion shows the development of hepatic tolerance to the lack of oxygen with decreased cell damage. Greater ischemic tolerance to this intermittent manoeuvre increases the total time it can be used.
Gallbladder cancer is uncommon disease, although it is not rare. Indeed, gallbladder cancer is the fifth most common gastrointestinal cancer and the most common biliary tract cancer in the United States. The incidence is 1.2 per 100,000 persons per year. It has historically been considered as an incu-rable malignancy with a dismal prognosis due to its propensity for early in-vasion to liver and dissemination to lymph nodes and peritoneal surfaces. Patients with gallbladder cancer usually present in one of three ways: (1) advanced unresectable cancer; (2) detection of suspicious lesion preoperatively and resectable after staging work-up; (3) incidental finding of cancer during or after cholecystectomy for benign disease.
Although, many studies have suggested improved survival in patients with early gallbladder cancer with radical surgery including en bloc resection of gallbladder fossa and regional lymphadenectomy, its role for those with advanced gallbladder cancer remains controversial. First, patients with more advanced disease often require more extensive resections than early stage tumors, and operative morbidity and mortality rates are higher. Second, the long-term outcomes after resection, in general, tend to be poorer; long-term survival after radical surgery has been reported only for patients with limited local and lymph node spread. Therefore, the indication of radical surgery should be limited to well-selected patients based on thorough preoperative and intra-operative staging and the extent of surgery should be determined based on the area of tumor involvement.
Surgical resection is warranted only for those who with locoregional disease without distant spread. Because of the limited sensitivity of current imaging modalities to detect metastatic lesions of gallbladder cancer, staging laparoscopy prior to proceeding to laparotomy is very useful to assess the
abdomen for evidence of discontinuous liver disease or peritoneal metastasis and to avoid unnecessary laparotomy. Weber et al. reported that 48% of patients with potentially resectable gallbladder cancer on preoperative imaging work-up were spared laparotomy by discovering unresectable disease by laparoscopy. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy should be avoided when a preoperative cancer is suspected because of the risk of violation of the plane between tumor and liver and the risk of port site seeding.
The goal of resection should always be complete extirpation with microscopic negative margins. Tumors beyond T2 are not cured by simple cholecystectomy and as with most of early gallbladder cancer, hepatic resection is always required. The extent of liver resection required depends upon whether involvement of major hepatic vessels, varies from segmental resection of segments IVb and V, at minimum to formal right hemihepatectomy or even right trisectionectomy. The right portal pedicle is at particular risk for advanced tumor located at the neck of gallbladder, and when such involvement is suspected, right hepatectomy is required. Bile duct resection and reconstruction is also required if tumor involved in bile duct. However, bile duct resection is associated with increased perioperative morbidity and it should be performed only if it is necessary to clear tumor; bile duct resection does not necessarily increase the lymph node yield.
Portal vein Embolizations (PVE) is commonly used in the patients requiring extensive liver resection but have insufficient Future Liver Remanescent (FLR) volume on preoperative testing. The procedure involves occluding portal venous flow to the side of the liver with the lesion thereby redirecting portal flow to the contralateral side, in an attempt to cause hypertrophy and increase the volume of the FLR prior to hepatectomy.
PVE was first described by Kinoshita and later reported by Makuuchi as a technique to facilitate hepatic resection of hilar cholangiocarcinoma. The technique is now widely used by surgeons all over the world to optimize FLR volume before major liver resections.
PVE works because the extrahepatic factors that induce liver hypertrophy are carried primarily by the portal vein and not the hepatic artery. The increase in FLR size seen after PVE is due to both clonal expansion and cellular hypertrophy, and the extent of post-embolization liver growth is generally proportional to the degree of portal flow diversion. The mechanism of liver regeneration after PVE is a complex phenomenon and is not fully understood. Although the exact trigger of liver regeneration remains unknown, several studies have identified periportal inflammation in the embolized liver as an important predictor of liver regeneration.
PVE is technically feasible in 99% of the patients with low risk of complications. Studies have shown the FLR to increase by a median of 40–62% after a median of 34–37 days after PVE, and 72.2–80% of the patients are able to undergo resection as planned. It is generally indicated for patients being considered for right or extended right hepatectomy in the setting of a relatively small FLR. It is rarely required before extended left hepatectomy or left trisectionectomy, since the right posterior section (segments 6 and 7) comprises about 30% of total liver volume.
PVE is usually performed through percutaneous transhepatic access to the portal venous system, but there is considerable variability in technique between centers. The access route can be ipsilateral (portal access at the same side being resected) with retrograde embolization or contralateral (portal access through FLR) with antegrade embolization. The type of approach selected depends on a number of factors including operator preference, anatomic variability, type of resection planned, extent of embolization, and type of embolic agent used. Many authors prefer ipsilateral approach especially for right-sided tumors as this technique allows easy catheterization of segment 4 branches when they must be embolized and also minimizes the theoretic risk of injuring the FLR vasculature or bile ducts through a contralateral approach and potentially making a patient ineligible for surgery.
However, majority of the studies on contralateral PVE show it to be a safe technique with low complication rate. Di Stefano et al. reported a large series of contralateral PVE in 188 patients and described 12 complications (6.4%) only 6 of which could be related to access route and none precluded liver resection. Site of portal vein access can also change depending on the choice of embolic material selected which can include glue, Gelfoam, n-butyl-cyanoacrylate (NBC), different types and sizes of beads, alcohol, and nitinol plus. All agents have similar efficacy and there are no official recommendations for a particular type of agent.
Proponents of PVE believe that there should be very little or no tumor progression during the 4–6 week wait period for regeneration after PVE. Rapid growth of the FLR can be expected within the first 3–4 weeks after PVE and can continue till 6–8 weeks. Results from multiple studies suggest that 8–30% hypertrophy over 2–6 weeks can be expected with slower rates in cirrhotic patients. Most studies comparing outcomes after major hepatectomy with and without preoperative PVE report superior outcomes with PVE. Farges et al. demonstrated significantly less risk of postoperative complications, duration of intensive care unit, and hospital stay in patients with cirrhosis who underwent right hepatectomy after PVE compared to those who did not have preoperative PVE. The authors also reported no benefit of PVE in patients with a normal liver and FLR >30%. Abulkhir et al. reported results from a meta-analysis of 1088 patients undergoing PVE and showed a markedly lower incidence of Post Hepatectomy Liver Failure (PHLF) and death compared to series reporting outcomes after major hepatectomy in patients who did not undergo PVE. All patients had FLR volume increase, and 85% went on to have liver resection after PVE with a PHLF incidence of 2.5% and a surgical mortality of 0.8%. Several studies looking at the effect of systemic neoadjuvant chemotherapy on the degree of hypertrophy after PVE show no significant impact on liver regeneration and growth.
The volumetric response to PVE is also a very important factor in understanding the regenerative capacity of a patient’s liver and when used together with FLR volume can help identify patients at risk of poor postsurgical outcome. Ribero et al. demonstrated that the risk of PHLF was significantly higher not only in patients with FLR ≤ 20% but also in patients with normal liver who demonstrated ≤5% of FLR hypertrophy after PVE. The authors concluded that the degree of hypertrophy >10% in patients with severe underlying liver disease and >5% in patients with normal liver predicts a low risk of PHLF and post-resection mortality. Many authors do not routinely offer resection to patients with borderline FLR who demonstrate ≤5% hypertrophy after PVE.
Careful analysis of outcome based on liver remnant volume stratified by underlying liver disease has led to recommendations regarding the safe limits of resection. The liver remnant to be left after resection is termed the future liver remnant (FLR). For patients with normal underlying liver, complications, extended hospital stay, admission to the intensive care unit, and hepatic insufficiency are rare when the standardized FLR is >20% of the TLV. For patients with tumor-related cholestasis or marked underlying liver disease, a 40% liver remnant is necessary to avoid cholestasis, fluid retention, and liver failure. Among patients who have been treated with preoperative systemic chemotherapy for more than 12 weeks, FLR >30% reduces the rate of postoperative liver insufficiency and subsequent mortality.
When the liver remnant is normal or has only mild disease, the volume of liver remnant can be measured directly and accurately with threedimensional computed tomography (CT) volumetry. However, inaccuracy may arise because the liver to be resected is often diseased, particularly in patients with cirrhosis or biliary obstruction. When multiple or large tumors occupy a large volume of the liver to be resected, subtracting tumor volumes from liver volume further decreases accuracy of CT volumetry. The calculated TLV, which has been derived from the association between body surface area (BSA) and liver size, provides a standard estimate of the TLV. The following formula is used:
TLV (cm3) = –794.41 + 1267.28 × BSA (square meters)
Thus, the standardized FLR (sFLR) volume calculation uses the measured FLR volume from CT volumetry as the numerator and the calculated TLV as the denominator: Standardized FLR (sFLR) = measured FLR volume/TLV Calculating the standardized TLV corrects the actual liver volume to the individual patient’s size and provides an individualized estimate of that patient’s postresection liver function. In the event of an inadequate FLR prior to major hepatectomy, preoperative liver preparation may include portal vein embolization (PVE).
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In both the UK and the USA the annual death rate due to inguinal and femoral hernia has decreased in the last two to three decades. In the UK, deaths for inguinal and femoral hernia declined from 22 to 55% respectively from 1975 to 1990. The annual deaths in the USA per 100,000 population for patients with hernia and intestinal obstruction decreased from 5.1 in 1968 to 3.0 in 1988. For inguinal hernia with obstruction, 88% of patients underwent surgery with a mortality rate of 0.05%. These figures could be interpreted as showing that elective groin hernia surgery has reduced overall mortality rates.
In support of this contention is the fact that strangulation rates are lower in the USA than in the UK, which could be a consequence of the three times higher rate of elective hernia surgery in the USA. Even so, the available statistics show that rates of elective hernia surgery in the USA per 100,000 population fell from 358 to 220 between 1975 and 1990, although this may be an artifact of the data collection systems rather than a real decline.
During the period 1991–1992, 210 deaths occurring following inguinal hernia repair and 120 deaths following femoral hernia repair were investigated by the UK National Confidential Enquiry Into Perioperative Deaths. This enquiry is concerned with the quality of delivery of surgery, anesthesia, and perioperative care. Expert advisers compare the records of patients who have died with index cases. In this group of 330 patients many were elderly (45 were aged 80–89 years) and significantly infirm unfit; 24 were ASA grade III and 21 ASA grade IV. Postoperative mortality was attributed to preexisting cardiorespiratory problems in the majority of cases. In a nationwide study in Denmark of 158 patients dying after acute groin hernia repair, Kjaergaard et al. also found that these patients were old (median age 83 years) and fragile (>80% with significant comorbidity), with frequent delay in diagnosis and subsequent treatment. Clearly this group of patients requires high-quality care by an experienced surgeon and anesthetist with skills equivalent to that of the ASA grade of the patient.
Postoperative care should necessarily take place in a high-dependency unit or intensive therapy unit; this may necessitate transfer of selected patients to appropriate hospitals and facilities. Sensible decisions must be made in consultation with relatives of extremely elderly, frail, or moribund patients to adopt a humane approach, which may rule out interventional surgery.
Forty percent of patients with femoral hernia are admitted as emergency cases with strangulation or incarceration, whereas only 3% of patients with direct inguinal hernias present with strangulation. This clearly has implications for the prioritization on waiting lists when these types of hernia present electively to outpatient clinics. A groin hernia is at its greatest risk of strangulation within 3 months of its onset. For inguinal hernia at 3 months after presentation, the cumulative probability of strangulation is 2.8%, rising to 4.5% after 2 years. For femoral hernia the risk is much higher, with a 22% probability of strangulation at 3 months after presentation rising to 45% at 21 months. Right-sided hernias strangulate more frequently than left-sided hernias; this is possibly related to mesenteric anatomy.
In a randomized trial, evaluating an expectative approach to minimally symptomatic inguinal hernias, Fitzgibbons et al. in the group of patients randomized to watchful waiting found a risk of an acute hernia episode of 1.8 in 1,000 patient years. In another trial, O’Dwyer and colleagues, randomizing patients with painless inguinal hernias to observation or operation, found two acute episodes in 80 patients randomized to observation. In both studies, a large percentage of patients randomized to nonoperative care were eventually operated due to symptoms. Neuhauser, who studied a population in Columbia where elective herniorrhaphy was virtually unobtainable, found an annual rate of strangulation of 0.29% for inguinal hernias.
Management of Strangulation
Diagnosis is based on symptoms and signs supplemented by diagnostic imaging when indicated. Pain over the hernia site is invariable, and obstruction with strangulation of intestine will cause colicky abdominal pain, distension, vomiting, and constipation. Physical examination may reveal degrees of dehydration with or without CNS depression, especially in the elderly if uremia is present, together with abdominal signs of intestinal obstruction. Femoral hernias can be easily missed, especially in the obese female, and a thorough examination should be performed in order to make the correct diagnosis. Frequently, however, physical examination alone is insuf fi ciently accurate to con fi rm the presence of a strangulating femoral hernia vs. lymphadenopathy vs. a lymph node abscess. In these instances, one may elect to perform radiographic studies such as an ultrasound or a CT scan on an urgent or emergent basis.
The choice of incision will depend on the type hernia if the diagnosis is confi dent. When the diagnosis is in doubt, a half Pfannenstiel incision 2 cm above the pubic ramus, extending laterally, will give an adequate approach to all types of femoral or inguinal hernia. The fundus of the hernia sac can then be approached and exposed and an incision made to expose the contents of the sac. This will allow determination of the viability of its contents. Nonviability will necessitate conversion of the transverse incision into a laparotomy incision followed by release of the constricting hernia ring, reduction of the contents of the sac, resection, and reanastomosis. Precautions should be taken to avoid contamination of the general peritoneal cavity by gangrenous bowel or intestinal contents. In the majority of cases, once the constriction of the hernia ring has been released, circulation to the intestine is reestablished and viability returns. Intestine that is initially dusky, aperistaltic, or dull in hue may pink up with a short period of warming with damp packs once the constriction band is released. If viability is doubtful, resection should be performed. Resection rates are highest for femoral or recurrent inguinal hernias and lowest for inguinal hernias. Other organs, such as bladder or omentum, should be resected, as the need requires. After peritoneal lavage and formal closure of the laparotomy incision, specific repair of the groin hernia defect should be performed. In this situation prosthetic mesh should not be used in an operative fi eld that has been contaminated and in which there is a relatively high risk of wound infection. The hernia repair should follow the general principles for elective hernia repair. It should be kept in mind, that in this group of predominantly frail and elderly patients with a very high postoperative mortality risk, the primary objective of the operation is to stop the vicious cycle of strangulation, and only secondary to repair the hernia defect.
The risk of an acute groin hernia episode is of particular relevance, when discussing indication for operation of painless or minimally symptomatic hernias. A sensible approach in groin hernias would be, in accordance with the guidelines from the European Hernia Society to advise a male patient, that the risk of an acute operation, with an easily reducible (“disappears when lying down”) inguinal hernia with little or no symptoms, is low and that the indication for operation in this instance is not absolute, but also inform, that usually the hernia after some time will cause symptoms, eventually leading to an operation. In contrast, female patients with a groin hernia, due to the high frequency of femoral hernias and a relatively high risk of acute hernia episodes, should usually be recommended an operation.
There are many local and systemic factors that affect wound healing. The physician should be actively working to correct any abnormality that can prevent or slow wound healing.
A health care provider can improve wound healing by controlling local factors. He or she must clean the wound, debride it, and close it appropriately. Avulsion or crush wounds below under general management of wounds) need to be debrided until all nonviable tissue is removed. Grossly contaminated wounds should be cleaned as completely as possible to remove particulate matter (foreign bodies) and should be irrigated copiously. Bleeding must be controlled to prevent hematoma formation, which is an excellent medium for bacterial growth. Hematoma also separates wound edges, preventing the proper contact of tissues that is necessary for healing.
Radiation affects local wound healing by causing vasculitis, which leads to local hypoxia and ischemia. Hypoxia and ischemia impede healing by reducing the amount of nutrients and oxygen that are available at the wound site. Infection decreases the rate of wound healing and detrimentally affects proper granulation tissue formation, decreases oxygen delivery, and depletes the wound of needed nutrients. Care must be taken to clean the wound adequately. All wounds have some degree of contamination, if the body is able to control bacterial proliferation in a wound, that wound will heal. The use of cleansing agents (the simplest is soap and water) can help reduce contamination. A wound that contains the highly virulent streptococci species should not be closed. Physicians should keep in mind the potential for Clostridium tetani in wounds with devitalized tissue and use the proper prophylaxis.
In addition to controlling local factors, the physician must address systemic issues that can affect wound healing. Nutrition is an extremely important factor in wound healing. Patients need adequate nutrition to support protein synthesis, collagen formation, and metabolic energy for wound healing. Patients need adequate vitamins and nutrients to facilitate healing; folic acid is critical to the proper formation of collagen. Adequate fat intake is required for the absorption of vitamins D, A, K, and E. Vitamin K is essential for the
carboxylation of glutamate in the synthesis of clotting factors II, VII, IX, and X. Decreasing clotting factors can lead to hematoma formation and altered wound healing. Vitamin A increases the inflammatory response, increases collagen synthesis, and increases the influx of macrophages into a wound. Magnesium is required for protein synthesis, and zinc is a cofactor for RNA and DNA polymerase. Lack of any one of these vitamins or trace elements will adversely affect wound healing. Uncontrolled diabetes mellitus results in uncontrolled hyperglycemia, impairs wound healing, and alters collagen
formation. Hyperglycemia also inhibits fibroblast and endothelial cell proliferation within the wound. Medications will also affect wound healing. For example, steroids blunt the inflammatory response, decrease the available vitamin A in the wound, and alter the deposition and remodeling of collagen. Chronic illness (immune deficiency, cancer, uremia, liver disease, and jaundice) will predispose to infection, protein deficiency, and malnutrition, which, as noted previously, can affect wound healing. Smoking has a systemic effect by decreasing the oxygencarrying capacity of hemoglobin. Smoking may also decrease collagen formation within a wound. Hypoxia results in a decrease in oxygen delivery to a wound and retards healing.
The abdomen is the lower part of the trunk below the diaphragm. Its walls surround a large cavity called the abdominal cavity. The abdominal cavity is much more extensive than what it appears from the outside. It extends upward deep to the costal margin up to the diaphragm and downward within the bony pelvis. Thus, a considerable part of the abdominal cavity is overlapped by the lower part of the thoracic cage above and by the bony pelvis below. The abdominal cavity is subdivided by the plane of the pelvic inlet into a larger upper part, i.e., the abdominal cavity proper, and a smaller lower part, i.e., the pelvic cavity. Clinically the importance of the abdomen is manifold. To the physician, the physical examination of the patient is never complete until he/she thoroughly examines the abdomen. To the surgeon, the abdomen remains an enigma because in number of cases the cause of abdominal pain and nature of abdominal lump remains inconclusive even after all possible investigations. To summarize, many branches of medicine such as general surgery and gastroenterology are all confined to the abdomen.
The incidence of choledocholithiasis in patients undergoing cholecystectomy is estimated to be 10 %. The presence of common bile duct stones is associated with several known complications including cholangitis, gallstone pancreatitis, obstructive jaundice, and hepatic abscess. Making the diagnosis early and prompt management is crucial. Traditionally, when choledocholithiasis is identified with intraoperative cholangiography during the cholecystectomy, it has been managed surgically by open choledochotomy and place- ment of a T-tube. This open surgical approach has a morbidity rate of 10–15 %, mortality rate of <1 %, with a <6 % incidence of retained stones. Patients who fail endoscopic retrieval of CBD stones, as well as cases in which an endoscopic approach is not appropriate, should be explored surgically.
Acute obstruction of the bile duct by a stone causes a rapid distension of the biliary tree and activation of local pain fibers. Pain is the most common presenting symptom for choledocholithiasis and is localized to either the right upper quadrant or to the epigastrium. The obstruction will also cause bile stasis which is a risk factor for bacterial over- growth. The bacteria may originate from the duodenum or the stone itself. The combination of biliary obstruction and colo- nization of the biliary tree will lead to the development of fevers, the second most common presenting symptom of cho- ledocholithiasis. Biliary obstruction, if unrelieved, will lead to jaundice. When these three symptoms (pain, fever, and jaundice) are found simultaneously, it is known as Charcot’s triad. This triad suggests the diagnosis of acute ascending cholangitis, a potentially life-threatening condition. If not treated promptly, this can lead to hypotension and decreased metal status, both signs of severe sepsis. When combined with Charcot’s triad, this constellation of symptoms is commonly referred to as Reynolds pentad.
Laparoscopic common bile duct exploration
Laparoscopic common bile duct exploration (LCBDE) allows for single stage treatment of gallstone disease, reducing overall hospital stay, improving safety and cost-effectiveness when compared to the two-stage approach of ERCP and laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Bile duct clearance can be confirmed by direct visualization with a choledochoscope. But, before the advent of choledochoscope, bile duct clearance was uncertain, and blind instrumentation of the duct resulted in accentuated edema and inflammation. Due to advancement in instruments, optical magnification, and direct visualization, laparoscopic exploration of the CBD results in fewer traumas to the bile duct. This has led to an increasing tendency to close the duct primarily, reducing the need for placement of T-tubes. Still, laparoscopic bile duct exploration is being done in only a few centers. Apart from the need for special instruments, there is also a significant learning curve to acquire expertise to be able to perform a laparoscopic bile duct surgery.
Morbidity and mortality rates of laparoscopic exploration are comparable to ERCP (2–17 and 1–5 %), and there is no clear difference in primary success rates between the two approaches. However, the endoscopic approach may be preferable for elderly and frail patients, who are at higher risk with surgery. Patients older than 70–80 years of age have a 4–10 % mortality rate with open duct exploration. It may be as high as 20 % in elderly patients undergoing urgent procedures. In comparison, advanced age and comor- bidities do not have a significant impact on overall complication rates for ERCP. A success rate of over 90 % has been reported with laparoscopic CBD exploration. Availability of surgical expertise and appropriate equipment affect the success rate of laparoscopic exploration, as does the size, number of the CBD stones, as well as biliary anatomy. Over the years, laparoscopic exploration has become efficient, safe, and cost effective. Complications include CBD laceration, stricture formation, bile leak, abscess, pancreatitis, and retained stones.
In cases of failure of laparoscopic CBD exploration, a guidewire or stent can be passed through the cystic duct, common bile duct, and through the ampulla into the duodenum followed by cholecystectomy. This makes the identification and cannulation of the ampulla easier during the post- operative ERCP. Laparoscopic common bile duct exploration is traditionally performed through a transcystic or transductal approach. The transcystic approach is appropriate under certain circumstances. These include a small stone (<10 mm) located in the CBD, presence of small common bile duct (<6 mm), or if there is poor access to the common duct. The transductal approach is preferable in cases of large stones, stones in proximal ducts (hepatic ducts), large occluding stones in a large duct, presence of multiple stones, or if the cystic duct is small (<4 mm) or tortuous. Contraindications for laparoscopic approach include lack of training, and severe inflammation in the porta hepatis making the exploration difficult and risky.
With advancement in imaging technology, laparoscopic and endoscopic techniques, management of common bile duct stone has changed drasti- cally in recent years. This has made the treatment of this condition safe and more efficient. Many options are now available to manage this condition, and any particular modality for treatment should be chosen carefully based on the patient related factors, institutional protocol, available expertise, resources, and cost-effectiveness.
Patients with acute appendicitis can present at different stages of the disease process, ranging from mild mucosal inflammation to frank perforation with abscess formation. The reported overall incidence of acute appendicitis varies with age, gender, and geographical differences. Interestingly, while the incidence of non-perforated appendicitis in the United States decreased between 1970 and 2004, no significant decline in the rate of perforated appendicitis was observed despite the increasng use of computed tomography (CT) and fewer negative appendectomies.
Of 32,683 appendectomies sampled from the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS-NSQIP) hospitals between 2005 and 2008, 5,405 patients (16.5%) had a preoperative diagnosis of acute appendicitis with peritonitis/abscess.
The definition of complicated appendicitis varies slightly in the literature. Clinicopathological diagnoses (gangrenous, perforated, appendiceal abscess/phlegmon) of acute appendicitis are commonly used for its definition. Classically, patients at the extremes of age are more likely to present with complicated appendicitis. Similarly, pre-morbid conditions including diabetes and type of medical insurance are significantly associated with the risk of perforation.
The importance of early appendectomy has also been emphasized to prevent perforation of the appendix and the sub- sequent negative impact on patient outcomes. However, more recent meta-analysis data supports the safety of a relatively short (12–24 h) delay before appendectomy, which was not significantly associated with increased rate of complicated appendicitis. Teixeira et al. also showed that the time to appendectomy was not a significant risk factor for perforated appendicitis but did result in a significantly increased risk of surgical site infection.
The outcome of patients with complicated appendicitis is significantly worse than patients with uncomplicated appendicitis. A population-based study from Sweden showed that, in a risk-adjusted model, patients with perforated appendicitis were 2.34 times more likely to die after appendectomy than non- perforated appendicitis patients. Because of its higher mortality and morbidity in patients with complicated appendicitis, the management of complicated appendicitis has evolved significantly over the last few decades.
Open or Laparoscopic Surgery
Since the first laparoscopic appendectomy was described by Semm in 1983, multiple studies have compared operative time, complication rates, length of hospital stay, hospital cost, and other outcomes between open and laparoscopic appendectomy for acute appendicitis. The most recent Cochrane review included 67 studies showing that laparoscopic appendectomy was associated with a lower incidence of wound infection, reduced postoperative pain, shorter postoperative length of hospital stay, and faster recovery to daily activity. In contrast, reduced risk of intra-abdominal abscesses and shorter operative time were found as the advantages of open appendectomy.
Due to increased surgeon experience in uncomplicated appendicitis, laparoscopic appendectomy is more frequently attempted even in complicated appendicitis cases as an alternative approach to open appendectomy. Although the general surgical steps for complicated appendicitis are similar to those for uncomplicated appendicitis, the laparoscopic procedure can be more technically demanding. Therefore, conversion from laparoscopic appendectomy to open appendectomy can be expected.
Despite these concerns, the laparoscopic approach in patients with com- plicated appendicitis has been proven to be safe and comparable to open appendectomy. Retrospective studies using a large database in the United States uniformly showed more favorable clinical outcomes (mortality, morbidity, length of hospital stay, readmission rate) and hospital costs in patients who underwent laparoscopic appendectomy when compared to open appendectomy. The real risk of developing an intra- abdominal abscess after laparoscopic appendectomy remains unclear. A meta-analysis by Markides et al. found no significant difference in the intra-abdominal abscess rate between laparoscopic and open appendectomy for complicated appendicitis, whereas Ingraham et al. showed a higher likelihood of developing an organ-space surgical site infection in patients undergoing laparoscopic appendectomy.
Since the introduction of polypropylene (PP) mesh for hernia repair, surgeons continue to discuss the use of mesh in a variety of settings for one of the most common operations performed by general surgeons—hernia repair. This discussion has involved raw materials, cost, and outcomes and for many years referred to only a few products, as manufacturing was limited. Nowadays, with multiple permanent, absorbable, biologic, and hybrid products on the market, the choice of mesh for a hernia repair can be daunting. Increasing clinical complexity further emphasizes the need for individualizing care, but more frequently, hospital supply chain personnel institute product procurement procedures for cost control, limiting mesh choice for surgeons. This can force surgeons into a “one-size-fits-all” practice regarding mesh choice, which may not be ideal for some patients. Conversely, current literature lacks definitive evidence supporting the use of one mesh over another, a fact that has not escaped the radar screen of the hospital supply chain and mesh industry, both of which attempt to limit vendor and mesh choice for financial gain. It is unlikely that this type of “proof” will ever come to fruition. This leaves us with choosing a mesh based on an algorithm that is centered on the patient and the patient’s unique clinical scenario.
Operations on the gallbladder and bile ducts are among the surgical procedures most commonly performed by general surgeons. In most hospitals, cholecystectomy is the most frequently performed operation within the abdomen. Pancreatic surgery is less frequent , but because of the close relation between the biliary system and the pancreas, knowledge of pancreatic problems is equally essential to the surgeon. Acute and chronic pancreatitis and cancer of the pancreas are often encountered by surgeons, with apparently increasing frequency; their treatment remains difficult and perplexing. This review demonstrates the modern aspects of pancreatic surgery. Good study.
A avaliação e os cuidados de feridas pós-operatórias deve ser do domínio de todos os profissionais que atuam na clínica cirúrgica. O conhecimento a cerca dos processos relacionados a cicatrização tecidual é importante tanto nos cuidados como na prevenção de complicações, tais como: infecções e deiscência. Como tal, todos os profissionais médicos, sendo eles cirurgiões ou de outras especialidades, que participam do manejo clínico dos pacientes no período perioperatório devem apreciar a fisiologia da cicatrização de feridas e os princípios de tratamento de feridas pós-operatório. O objetivo deste artigo é atualizar os profissionais médicos de outras especialidades sobre os aspectos importantes do tratamento de feridas pós-operatório através de uma revisão da fisiologia da cicatrização de feridas, os métodos de limpeza e curativo, bem como um guia sobre complicações de feridas pós-operatórias mais prevalentes e como devem ser manejados nesta situação.
Estima-se que atualmente 90% das colecistectomias sejam realizadas pela técnica laparoscópica, percentual este atingido nos Estados Unidos da América no ano de 1992. Os motivos para tal preferência na escolha da técnica cirúrgica aplicada são claros: menor dor no pós-operatório, recuperação pós-cirúrgica mais rápida, menor número de dias de trabalho perdidos e menor tempo de permanência hospitalar. A colecistectomia laparoscópica foi claramente estabelecida como padrão-ouro para o tratamento cirúrgico da litíase biliar, no entanto 2 a 15% das colecistectomias vídeolaparoscópicas necessitam de conversão para cirurgia convencional, sendo as razões mais comuns a inabilidade para se identificar corretamente a anatomia, suspeita de lesão da árvore biliar e sangramento. A identificação dos fatores associados a um maior índice de conversão possibilita à equipe cirúrgica estimar o grau de dificuldade do procedimento, preparando melhor o paciente para o risco de conversão e permitindo a participação de um cirurgião mais experiente num procedimento de maior risco.
Relacionados ao Paciente: 1. Obesidade (IMC > 35), 2. Sexo Masculino, 3. Idade > 65 anos, 4. Diabetes Mellitus e 5. ASA > 2.
Relacionadas a Doença: 1. Colecistite Aguda, 2. Líquido Pericolecístico, 3. Pós – CPRE, 4. Síndrome de Mirizzi e 5. Edema da parede da vesícula > 5 mm.
Relacionadas a Cirurgia: 1. Hemorragia, 2. Aderências firmes, 3. Anatomia obscura, 4. Fístulas internas e 5. Cirurgia abdominal prévia.
Hepatic resection had an impressive growth over time. It has been widely performed for the treatment of various liver diseases, such as malignant tumors, benign tumors, calculi in the intrahepatic ducts, hydatid disease, and abscesses. Management of hepatic resection is challenging. Despite technical advances and high experience of liver resection of specialized centers, it is still burdened by relatively high rates of postoperative morbidity and mortality. Especially, complex resections are being increasingly performed in high risk and older patient population. Operation on the liver is especially challenging because of its unique anatomic architecture and because of its vital functions. Common post-hepatectomy complications include venous catheter-related infection, pleural effusion, incisional infection, pulmonary atelectasis or infection, ascites, subphrenic infection, urinary tract infection, intraperitoneal hemorrhage, gastrointestinal tract bleeding, biliary tract hemorrhage, coagulation disorders, bile leakage, and liver failure. These problems are closely related to surgical manipulations, anesthesia, preoperative evaluation and preparation, and postoperative observation and management. The safety profile of hepatectomy probably can be improved if the surgeons and medical staff involved have comprehensive knowledge of the expected complications and expertise in their management.
The era of hepatic surgery began with a left lateral hepatic lobectomy performed successfully by Langenbuch in Germany in 1887. Since then, hepatectomy has been widely performed for the treatment of various liver diseases, such as malignant tumors, benign tumors, calculi in the intrahepatic ducts, hydatid disease, and abscesses. Operation on the liver is especially challenging because of its unique anatomic architecture and because of its vital functions. Despite technical advances and high experience of liver resection of specialized centers, it is still burdened by relatively high rates of postoperative morbidity (4.09%-47.7%) and mortality (0.24%-9.7%). This review article focuses on the major postoperative issues after hepatic resection and presents the current management.
The first postgastrectomy syndrome was noted not long after the first gastrectomy was performed: Billroth reported a case of epigastric pain associated with bilious vomiting as a sequel of gastric surgery in 1885. Several classic treatises exist on the subject; we cannot improve on them and merely provide a few references for the interested reader.
However, the indications for gastric resection have changed dramatically over the past 4 decades, and the overall incidence of gastric resection has decreased. The most marked reduction in the frequency of gastric resection has occurred among patients with peptic ulcer disease. For example, in Olmstead County, Minnesota, the incidence of elective operations on previously unoperated patients declined 8-fold during the 30-year study period between 1956 and 1985 and undoubtedly has declined even further since.
One population-based study concluded that elective surgery for ulcer disease had “virtually disappeared by 1992–1996.” Whereas emergency operations for bleeding and perforation are still encountered, acid-reducing procedures are being performed less frequently in these situations in favor of a damage control approach. Even for gastric cancer, resection rates decreased approximately 20% from 1988 to 2000 in the United States.
An estimated 21,000 new cases of stomach cancer occurred in the United States in 2010, so that the number of cases of gastric resection for cancer is probably less than 15,000 per year in the United States. The virtual disappearance of elective surgery for peptic ulcer has also changed the demographic profile of the postgastrectomy patient: patients who have gastric cancer tend to be older and there is only a slight male preponderance.
These significant changes in the gastric surgery population make it worthwhile to revisit postgastrectomy syndromes. The frequency with which postgastrectomy symptoms/syndromes are found can depend on how hard they are looked for. Loffeld, in a survey of 124 postgastrectomy patients, most of whom had undergone surgery more than 15 years earlier, found that 75% suffered from upper abdominal symptoms, and 1 or more symptoms that indicate dumping were found in 70% of patients who had undergone Billroth-II (B-II) reconstruction.
However, the lack of age-matched and sex-matched controls in this study may have overstated the frequency of symptoms caused by the surgical procedure. Mine and colleagues conducted a large survey of 1153 patients after gastrectomy for cancer and found that 67% reported early dumping and 38% late dumping. By contrast, Pedrazzani and colleagues surveyed 195 patients who underwent subtotal gastrectomy and B-II reconstruction for gastric adenocarcinoma for up to 5 years postoperatively, and concluded that “the incidence of late complications was low and the majority of them recovered within one year after surgery.”
This article focuses on the small proportion of patients with severe, debilitating symptoms; these symptoms can challenge the acumen of the surgeon who is providing the patient’s long-term follow-up and care.
The morbid obesity epidemic continues to spread throughout industrialized nations. It is a condition with a heterogeneous etiology, including genetic, psychosocial, and environmental factors. Prevention methods have currently been unable to halt the further spread of this disease. Obesity has been linked to increased healthcare costs, common physiologic derangements, reduced quality of life, and increased overall mortality. More than one third of adults and almost 17% of children in the United States are obese.
Medical therapy that can cause sustained significant weight loss may be years away. Bariatric surgery, when combined with a multidisciplinary team, continues to be the only proven method to achieve sustained weight loss in most patients. Bariatric procedures modify gastrointestinal anatomy and, in some cases, enteric hormone release to reduce caloric intake, reduce absorption, and alter metabolism to achieve weight loss. Currently, the three most common bariatric operations in the United States are Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, adjustable gastric band, and the vertical sleeve gastrectomy.
O termo “gossipiboma” refere-se a uma matriz de matéria têxtil envolvida por reacção de corpo estranho. O termo é derivado do latim “Gossypium”, algodão, e o Swahili “boma”, que significa “esconderijo”. Também conhecida como textiloma, originada de “textilis” (tecer em latim) e “oma” (doença, tumor ou inchaço em grego). O primeiro caso foi descrito por Wilson em 1884. Gossipibomas foram relatados após operações em muitos processos, e em diferentes órgãos e localização. Mas, o local mais comum é o abdominal. Gaze e compressas são os materiais mais comumente retidos após laparotomia. A incidência de gossipibomas é variável e subnotificada, principalmente devido às implicações legais de sua detecção, mas também porque muitos pacientes permanecem assintomáticos. A apresentação clínica é também variável. O tratamento recomendado é a excisão que pretende evitar as complicações que conduzem a taxa de mortalidade entre11-35%.
Ele ocorre entre 1/1000 a 1/1500 nas operações intra-abdominais. A apresentação clínica é variável e depende da localização do corpo estranho e sobre o tipo de reação inflamatória apresentada pela hospedeiro. Podem existir formas agudas e crônicas. A forma aguda tende a apresentar-se com fístulas e abcessos cutâneos, enquanto que a crônica como massa encapsulada (granuloma de corpo estranho) e sintomas inespecíficos. Gossipibomas ocorrem mais comumente após operação abdominal e pélvica. Eles são mais frequentes em pacientes obesos e quando a operação é realizada em emergência. A incidência é maior em nove vezes após operação de emergência, e de quatro em procedimentos não planejados no decorrer de uma intervenção, mudando o que se pretendia realizar. Outros fatores predisponentes incluem operações em campo de batalha, complicações intra-operatórias, tais como perda intensa de sangue, a incapacidade de realizar contagem de materiais cirúrgicos no final do processo, tempo de operação prolongado e as mudanças no pessoal médico e de enfermagem durante o operação.
O tempo entre a operação e aparecimento de manifestações clínicas de Gossipiboma é variável, em particular se o material permanecer estéril. Ele depende da localização do material retido e do tipo de reação orgânica, e foi estimado em entre 10 dias a vários anos. Em patologia, duas reações de corpo estranho pode occorer. A primeira resposta é a produção asséptica de fibrina, o que leva à formação de aderências, material de encapsulamento e à formação de granulomas de corpo estranho. Nesta apresentação, o paciente pode permanecer assintomático por meses ou anos. A segunda resposta é exsudativa, com formação de abcessos, fístulas aos órgãos internos como o estômago, intestino, bexiga, cólon ou vagina, ou também fístula externa para a parede abdominal. Os sintomas dependem do órgão afetado principalmente e podem resultar da compressão, obstrução, síndrome de má absorção, ou crescimento bacteriano. Eles incluem dor abdominal, tumor palpável, náuseas, vômitos, sangramento retal, diarréia, disúria, piúria, hematúria e urgência urinária. Os sintomas sistêmicos como febre, anorexia, anemia e perda de peso também podem occurer. No entanto, a resposta inflamatória e aderências podem formar uma cápsula com o bloqueio omental e órgãos adjacentes, podendo o paciente permanecer assintomático. A falta de sintomas pode dificultar ou retardar o diagnóstico, que muitas vezes é realizado incidentalmente.
O diagnóstico pode ser difícil. Suspeita clínica e o uso de estudos de imagem são importantes, pois é a regra a inexistência ou inespecificidade de sintomas em vários anos após a operação. No pré-operatório pode ser levantada suspeita por meio de estudos radiológicos ou endoscópicos. Muitos casos só são descobertos no intra-operatório. Tomografia computadorizada é o exame complementar de escolha para o diagnóstico e avaliação dessas complicações. Ele fornece informações detalhadas sobre a lesão na maioria dos casos. A aparência pode ser lesão cística espongiforme, cápsula hiperdensa em camadas concêntricas, ou calcificações murais. A presença de gás é indicativa de perfuração do intestino ou à formação de abcessos. Os principais diagnósticos diferenciais são: aderências pós-operatórias, fecalomas, contusões, hematomas, intussuscepção, volvo, tumores e abscessos intracavitários.
Tratamento e Prognóstico
O tratamento de escolha é a remoção cirúrgica que pode ser realizada por laparoscopia ou laparotomia, e visa prevenir complicações. O prognóstico da gossipiboma é variável com taxas de mortalidade de 11 para 35%. Quando a remoção ocorre no período pós-operatório imediato, a morbidade e mortalidade são baixas; no entanto, se o material foi mantido por um longo tempo a remoção pode exigir operação extensa e ter elevado índice de complicações.
Há muitas implicações médico-legais com gossypiboma. Revisão de negligência médica impetradas entre 1988 e 1994 revelou 40 casos de gossipiboma, que representaram 48% de todos os corpos estranhos. Não foi possível determinar se o material esquecimento representou falta de qualidade do cirurgião ou quadro de enfermagem.
A abordagem mais importante é a prevenção. As medidas preventivas necessárias incluem o uso de material têxtil com marcadores radiopacos e contagem minuciosa de materiais cirúrgicos. São recomendadas quatro contagens: na montagem do material, antes da operação, no início do fechamento da cavidade e durante a síntese da pele. Dhillon e Park reforçam a importância da exploração dos quatro quadrantes abdominais no final da operação em todos os casos, mesmo após a contagem das compressas. No caso de contagem incorreta, a menos que o paciente seja considerado instável, a síntese da cavidade não deve ser realizada até que todas elas estejam localizados.
Gossipiboma é um problema médico-legal sério e sua incidência está aparentemente aumentando. Por isso, os meios e métodos nos procedimentos cirúrgicos durante o ato operatório e no contexto geral da sala de operações precisam ser revistos para tomarem-se medidas preventivas. Formação continuada de profissionais da área médica e estrita adesão à técnica operatória são primordiais para a prevenção de gossipiboma.
Considera-se que a cirurgia hepática começou após o advento da anestesia e da anti-sepsia. No entanto, muito antes disso, diversos autores já relatavam suas experiências com ressecções do fígado. As primeiras descrições de “cirurgias hepáticas” consistiam no relato de avulsões parciais ou totais de porções do fígado após lesões traumáticas do abdome. O relato de Elliot (1897) exemplifica muito dos temores dos cirurgiões da época: “O fígado (…) é tão friável, tão cheio de vasos e tão evidentemente impossível de ser suturado que parece ser improvável o manejo bem sucedido de grandes lesões de seu parênquima”.
Extent of lymph node dissection has been an area of controversy in gastric adenocarcinoma for many years. Some surgeons believe that cancer metastasizes through a stepwise progression, and an extensive lymphadenectomy is necessary to improve survival and/or cure the patient. Other physicians argue that extensive ly-mphadenectomies only add pe-rioperative morbidity and mor-tality and do not improve survival. Asian countries have been performing extended lymphadenectomies routinely for many years with promising survival data, although Western countries have not been able to reproduce those results. Much of the controversy surrounding lymphadenectomies started in the 1980s when Japanese studies reported superior survival rates matched stage for stage, compared to the United States. This was theorized to be secondary to the more extensive lymphadenectomy performed in Japan compared to the United States.
A United Kingdom study randomized 400 patients to either a D1 or a D2 lymph node dissection. Those patients with tumors in the upper or middle third of the stomach underwent a distal pancreaticosplenectomy to obtain retropancreatic and splenic hilar nodes. While the 5-year survival rates were not statistically significant between the two groups, on multivariate analyses it was noted that those patients in the D2 group that did not undergo the distal pancreaticosplenectomy had an increased survival compared with the D1 group. A trial in the Netherlands randomized 380 gastric cancer patients to a D1 lymphadenectomy and 331 patients to a D2 lymphadenectomy. Similar to the United Kingdom study, there was not a significant difference in survival between the two groups, even when followed out to 11 years. There was a significant increase in postoperative complications in the D2 group compared with the D1 group (43 % vs. 25 %, respectively) as well as mortality (10 % vs. 4 %, respectively).
The data from these two studies suggest that a pancreaticosplenectomy performed to harvest lymph nodes seems to only add morbidity and mortality while not improving survival. One concern raised about the prior two studies was the variation in surgical technique and lack of standardization of surgeon experience. A Taiwanese study accounted for this by performing the study at a single institution with three surgeons, each of whom had completed at least 25 D3 lymph node dissections prior to the study. Patients with gastric cancer were randomized to a D1 lymph node dissection (defined as resection of perigastric lymph nodes along the lesser and greater curves of the stomach) or a D3 lymph node dissection (defined as resection of additional lymph nodes surrounding the splenic, common hepatic, left gastric arteries, nodes in the hepatoduodenal ligament, and retropancreatic lymph nodes). There was an overall 5-year survival benefit with the D3 group of 60 % compared with the D1 group of 54 %. A Japanese study evaluated a more aggressive lymph node dissection and randomized patients to a D2 dissection or a para-aortic lymph node dissection (PAND). There was no significant difference in 5-year survival between the two groups with a trend toward an increase in complications in the PAND group. Multiple studies have shown that the number of positive lymph nodes is a significant predictor of survival. Current AJCC guidelines stipulate that at least 15 lymph nodes are needed for pathologic examination to obtain adequate staging.
Laparoscopic techniques have become an integral part of surgical practice over the past several decades. For gastric cancer, multiple retrospective studies have reported the advantages of laparoscopic gastrectomy (LG) over open gastrectomy (OG). A recent meta-analysis of 15 nonrandomized comparative studies has also shown that although LG had a longer operative time than OG, it was associated with lower intraoperative blood loss, overall complication rate, fewer wound-related complications, quicker recovery of gastrointestinal motility with shorter time to first flatus and oral intake, and shorter hospital stay. A randomized prospective trial comparing laparoscopic assisted with open subtotal gastrectomy reported that LG had a significantly lower blood loss (229 ± 144 ml versus 391 ± 136 ml; P< 0.001), shorter time to resumption of oral intake (5.1 ± 0.5 days versus 7.4 ± 2 days; P< 0.001), and earlier discharge from hospital (10.3 ± 3.6 days versus 14.5 ± 4.6 days; P< 0.001).
O objetivo do cirurgião ao realizar qualquer intervenção é que esta seja segura e eficiente. O procedimento deve ser o mais rápido possível, com o menor trauma tecidual, restaurando a função, e conseqüentemente diminuindo ao máximo as possibilidades de intercorrências no pós-operatório. A moderna cirurgia atinge estes objetivos de forma bastante satisfatória, porém, as complicações relacionadas às suturas ainda ocorrem com alguma freqüência. Foi somente no final do século XIX, que as suturas gastrointestinais adquiriram confiabilidade, com o conhecimento básico dos princípios da cicatrização dos tecidos. Os fatores envolvidos no reparo tecidual relacionam-se não só à técnica, mas também ao paciente individualmente, e à área a ser operada. A presença de isquemia, edema, infecção e desnutrição são alguns dos elementos que retardam e prejudicam a cicatrização. A variação na habilidade dos cirurgiões serviu de motivação para o desenvolvimento de dispositivos, que superando as diferenças individuais, permitissem que as técnicas fossem executadas adequadamente, e cujo resultado final fosse o melhor possível. Toda técnica deve ser reproduzida de forma confiável pelo maior número de cirurgiões para que seus resultados sejam adotados e reconhecidos como eficazes.
With the introduction of laparoscopic colectomy nearly 20 years ago, a relatively slow adoption of laparoscopic colorectal surgery into surgical practice has taken place. It is estimated that 10% to 25% of all colorectal resections are performed utilizing laparoscopy. The persistent steep learning curve, the lack of high-volume colorectal surgery by general surgeons (who perform the bulk of colonic resection in the United States), and the modest advantages reported are but a few of the reasons that the percentage of laparoscopic colorectal procedures has not dramatically risen. With the publication of several large, prospective randomized trials for colon cancer, along with the interest in single-port surgery and natural orifice surgery, there appears to be a renewed interest in minimally invasive procedures for the colon and rectum. This chapter will provide an overview of these issues and offer a current assessment of the common diseases to which minimally invasive techniques have been applied.
Numerous previous studies have evaluated the learning curve involved in laparoscopic colectomy. It is estimated by conventional laparoscopic techniques that the learning curve for laparoscopic colectomy is at least 20 cases but more likely 50 cases. The need to work in multiple quadrants of the abdomen, the need for a skilled laparoscopic assistant, and the lack of yearly volume has kept the learning curve relatively steep. The surgeon may also need to work in reverse angles to the camera. All of these combined add to the complexity of the procedure and result in the need to perform a number of cases before the surgeon and surgical team become proficient. More recent publications have suggested the learning curve is more than 20 cases. In a prospective randomized study of colorectal cancer in the United Kingdom, the CLASICC trial, surgeons had to perform at least 20 laparoscopic resections before they were allowed to enter the study. The study began in July 1996 and was completed in July 2002. Despite the surgeons’ prior experience, the rate of conversion dropped from 38% to 16% over the course of the study, suggesting that a minimum of 20 cases may not be enough to overcome the learning curve. In the COLOR trial from Europe, another prospective randomized study for colon cancer that required a prerequisite experience in laparoscopic colon resection before surgeons could enter patients in the study, surgeon and hospital volume were directly related to a number of operative and postoperative outcomes. The median operative time for high-volume hospitals (>10 cases/year) was 188 minutes, compared to 241 minutes for low-volume hospitals (<5 cases/year); likewise, conversion rates were 9% versus 24% for the two groups. High-volume groups also had more lymph nodes in the resected specimens, fewer complications, and shortened hospital stays. These two relatively recent multicenter studies suggest that the learning curve is clearly greater than 20 cases and that surgeons need to perform a minimum yearly number of procedures to maintain their skills.
There may not be another area in recent surgical history that has been more heavily scrutinized than laparoscopic colorectal surgery. The plethora of accumulated data allows a careful assessment of all outcome measures for nearly every colorectal disease and procedure. In comparison to conventional colorectal surgery, the benefits of laparoscopy for colorectal procedures compared to open techniques include a reduction in postoperative ileus, postoperative pain, and a concomitant reduction in the need for analgesics; an earlier tolerance of diet; a shortened hospital stay; a quicker resumption of normal activities; improved cosmesis; and possibly preservation of immune function. This is offset by a prolongation in operative time, the cost of laparoscopic equipment, and the learning curve for these technically challenging procedures. When reporting the outcomes of laparoscopic colectomy, a natural selection bias applies when comparing conventional and laparoscopic cases. The most complex cases are generally not suitable for a laparoscopic approach and therefore are performed via an open approach. Also, in many series the results of the successfully completed laparoscopic cases are compared to conventional cases, and the cases converted from a laparoscopic to a conventional procedure may be analyzed separately. Few studies, with the exception of the larger prospective randomized studies, leave the converted cases in the laparoscopic group as part of the “intention to treat” laparoscopic group. This clearly introduces selection bias.
Although the results of prospective randomized trials are available for almost every disease process requiring colorectal resection, the majority of studies of laparoscopic colectomy are retrospective case-control series or noncomparative reports. The conclusions regarding patient outcomes must therefore come from the repetitiveness of the results rather than the superiority of the study design. For any one study, the evidence may be weak; but collectively, because of the reproducibility of results by a large number of institutions, even with different operative techniques and postoperative management parameters, the preponderance of evidence favors a minimally invasive approach with respect to postoperative outcomes.
Nearly all the comparative studies provide information regarding operative times. The definition of the operative time may vary with each series, and there may be different groups of surgeons performing the laparoscopic and conventional procedures. With the exception of a few reports, nearly all studies demonstrated a prolonged operative time associated with laparoscopic procedures. In prospective randomized trials, the procedure was roughly 40 to 60 minutes longer in the laparoscopic groups. As the surgeon and team gain experience with laparoscopic colectomy, the operating times do reliably fall, but rarely do they return to the comparable time for a conventional approach.
Return of Bowel Activity and Resumption of Diet
Reduction in postoperative ileus is one of the proposed major advantages of minimally invasive surgery. Nearly all of the retrospective and prospective studies comparing open and laparoscopic colectomy have shown a statistically significant reduction in the time to passage of flatus and stool. Most series demonstrate a 1- to 2-day advantage for the laparoscopic group. Whether the reduction of ileus relates to less bowel manipulation or less intestinal exposure to air during minimally invasive surgery remains unknown. With the reduction in postoperative ileus, the tolerance by the patient of both liquids and solid foods is quicker following laparoscopic resection. The time to resumption of diet varies from 2 days to 7 days, but in the majority of comparative studies, this is still 1 to 2 days sooner than in patients undergoing conventional surgery. Again, the physician and patient were not blinded in nearly all studies, which may have altered patient expectations. However, the overwhelming reproducible data reported in both retrospective and prospective studies of laparoscopic procedures does likely favor a reduction of postoperative ileus and tolerance of liquid and solid diets.
To measure postoperative pain, a variety of assessments have been performed to demonstrate a significant reduction in pain following minimally invasive surgery; some studies utilize an analog pain scale, and others measure narcotic requirements. Physician bias and psychologic conditioning of patients may interfere with the evaluation of postoperative pain. There are also cultural variations in the response to pain. Three of the early prospective randomized trials have evaluated pain postoperatively, and all three have found a reduction in narcotic requirements in patients undergoing laparoscopic colectomy. In the COST study, the need both for intravenous and oral analgesics was less in patients undergoing successfully completed laparoscopic resections. Numerous other nonrandomized studies have shown a reduction in postoperative pain and narcotic usage.
Length of Stay
The quicker resolution of ileus, earlier resumption of diet, and reduced postoperative pain has resulted in a shortened length of stay for patients after laparoscopic resection when compared to traditional procedures. Recovery after conventional surgery has also been shortened, but in the absence of minimally invasive techniques, it would seem unlikely that the length of stay could be further reduced. In nearly all comparative studies, the length of hospitalization was 1 to 6 days less for the laparoscopic group. Although psychological conditioning of the patient cannot be helped and likely has a desirable effect, the benefits of minimally invasive procedures on the overall length of stay cannot be discounted. The benefit, however, is more likely a 1 to 2 day advantage only. The more recent introduction of clinical pathways, both in conventional and laparoscopic surgery, has also narrowed the gap but appears to be more reliable in patients undergoing a minimally invasive approach.
One of the disadvantages of laparoscopy is the higher cost related to longer operative times and increased expenditures in disposable equipment. Whether the total cost of the hospitalization (operative and hospital costs) is higher following laparoscopic colectomy is debatable. A case-control study from the Mayo Clinic looked at total costs following laparoscopic and open ileocolic resection for Crohn’s disease (CD). In this study, 66 patients underwent laparoscopic or conventional ileocolic resection and were well matched. Patients in the laparoscopic group had less postoperative pain, tolerated a regular diet 1 to 2 days sooner, and had a shorter length of stay (4 vs. 7 days). In the cost analysis, despite higher operative costs, the overall mean cost was $3273 less in the laparoscopic group. The procedures were performed by different groups of surgeons at the institution, and although the surgeons may have introduced biases, this study was undertaken during the current era of cost containment, in which all physicians are encouraged to reduce hospital stays. The results are similar for elective sigmoid diverticular resection with a mean cost savings of $700 to $800. Clearly, if operative times and equipment expenditure are minimized, the overall cost of a laparoscopic resection should not exceed a conventional approach.
O aumento da prevalência de doença diverticular fez o seu adequado manuseio mais um assunto de debate constante. Especialmente para os casos de diverticulite, progresso considerável tem sido feito em termos de diagnóstico e tratamento. Diagnóstico apropriado em TC e técnicas intervencionistas são agora amplamente disponíveis, bem como agentes antimicrobianos eficazes. Finalmente, como a ressecção cirúrgica do cólon envolvido é a única maneira de erradicar definitivamente essa condição, a colectomia eletiva laparoscópica surgiu como uma opção segura e interessante entre as opções de tratamento. Embora tenha sido recentemente contestada sobre a sua progressão, a história natural da diverticulite é assumida como sendo a de recorrência ao longo do tempo, pelo menos, em um terço dos pacientes. O medo das complicações desta doença benigna e prevalente tem motivado sociedades médicas e cirúrgicas para produzir orientações e consensos sobre o assunto. A mortalidade geralmente vem de sepse recorrente e/ou operações de emergência para casos mais complicados. Como resultado, o procedimento cirúrgico mais realizado, a sigmoidectomia eletiva, é normalmente indicada para todos os casos complicados e muitos dos não-complicados. A abordagem laparoscópica para a colectomia esquerda tem evoluído e condições seguras são oferecidas aos pacientes, quando realizado por cirurgiões experientes em laparoscopia.
An incisional hernia is usually deﬁned as a chronic postoperative defect of the abdominal wall through which intra-abdominal viscera protrude. Progress in surgical techniques, even with laparoscopic surgery, has not led to the elimination of incisional hernias. On the contrary, the incidence of this complication seems to be increasing as more major and lengthy operations are being performed, especially in elderly patients with concomitant organic disease. The incidence of this condition has been reported to be as high as 11% of all laparotomies. Surgical repair is difﬁcult in the patient with a large abdominal wall defect, especially if the herniated viscera has “lost its right of domain” in the abdominal cavity. It must be remembered that surgical repair of an incisional hernia is not the same thing as closure of a laparotomy. Weakening of the abdominal wall and the consequences of decreased abdominal pressure on diaphragmatic mobility and respiratory function must also be considered. Placement of a prosthetic mesh is essential because without mesh, the recurrence rate is prohibitive, varying from 30% to 60%. The which is the subject of this article, was popularized by Jean Rives and has been used in our department since 1966.
The operative conduct of the biliary-enteric anastomosis centers around three technical steps: 1) identification of healthy bile duct mucosa proximal to the site of obstruction; 2) preparation of a segment of alimentary tract, most often a Roux-en-Y jejunal limb; and 3) construction of a direct mucosa-to-mucosa anastomosis between these two. Selection of the proper anastomosis is dictated by the indication for biliary decompression and the anatomic location of the biliary obstruction. A right subcostal incision with or without an upper midline extension or left subcostal extension provides adequate exposure for construction of the biliary-enteric anastomosis. Use of retractors capable of upward elevation and cephalad retraction of the costal edges are quite valuable for optimizing visual exposure of the relevant hilar anatomy.
Division of the ligamentum teres and mobilization of the falciform ligament off the anterior surface of the liver also facilitate operative exposure; anterocephalad retraction of the ligamentum teres and division of the bridge of tissue overlying the umbilical fissure are critical for optimal visualization of the vascular inflow and biliary drainage of segments II, III, and IV. Cholecystectomy also exposes the cystic plate, which runs in continuity with the hilar plate. Lowering of the hilar plate permits exposure of the left hepatic duct as it courses along the base of segment IVb. In cases of unilateral hepatic atrophy as a result of long-standing biliary obstruction or preoperative portal vein embolization, it is critical to understand that the normal anatomic relationships of the portal structures are altered. In the more common circumstance of right-sided atrophy, the portal and hilar structures are rotated posteriorly and to the right; as a result, the portal vein, which is typically most posterior, is often encountered first; meticulous dissection is necessary to identify the common bile duct and hepatic duct deep within the porta hepatis.
A via laparoscópica tem sido reconhecida como padrão de excelência para a colecistectomias. Phillipe Mouret foi quem primeiro a realizou em 1987, mas outros procedimentos já haviam sido realizados por laparoscopia e foram descritos por ginecologistas. Desenvolvida no final da década de 80 e início dos anos 90, a videolaparoscopia mudou os conceitos de acesso cirúrgico e campo operatório, introduzindo a concepção de “cirurgia minimamente invasiva”.A colecistectomia é um dos procedimentos cirúrgicos mais realizados no mundo. Com o advento da videolaparoscopia, tornou-se uma cirurgia menos traumática, mais estética, com períodos mais curtos de internação. Em contrapartida, observou-se o aumento da incidência de lesões de via biliar extra-hepática quando comparado ao procedimento aberto, fato preocupante devido à morbidade elevada desse tipo de lesão, cuja mortalidade não é desprezível.
Evento Adverso (EA) é definido de acordo com a International Classification for Patient Safety proposta pela World Alliance for Patient Safety da Organização Mundial de Saúde (OMS) como incidente que resulta em dano (harm) ao paciente. Incidente definido como evento ou circunstância que poderia ter causado ou que resultou desnecessariamente em dano ao paciente e evento como algo que acontece com ou envolve o paciente. Os eventos adversos (EAs) têm estimativa de ocorrência em 4 a 16% de todos os pacientes hospitalizados, sendo que mais de metade nos cuidados cirúrgicos, dos quais acima de 50% são evitáveis. A ocorrência de EAs é considerada um problemade importância internacional sendo crescente o envolvimento de pesquisadores,profissionais de saúde e gestores de saúde na avaliação de EAs e inúmeras as instituições,redes de relacionamento e websites referentes ao tema.
Em 2004, expressando a preocupação mundial com a segurança de pacientes, foi criada pela OMS a World Alliance for Patient Safety tendo como elemento central a formulação do Global Patient Safety Challenge, que engloba temas representativos dos principais aspectos dos riscos relacionados com a assistência à saúde, considerados relevantes para os países membros da OMS. O primeiro tema selecionado foi infecção associada à prestação de serviço em saúde, seguido de segurança dos cuidados cirúrgicos,tendo como objetivo prevenir erros, evitar danos e salvar vidas. O número de cirurgias de maior porte realizadas anualmente no mundo foi estimado pela OMS em 234 milhões, o que corresponde a uma cirurgia para cada 25 pessoas.
Cirurgia de maior porte inclui qualquer procedimento realizado na sala de cirurgia envolvendo incisão, excisão, manipulação, ou sutura de tecido que geralmente requer anestesia geral ou regional, ou sedação profunda para controlar a dor. Em países industrializados complicações ocorrem em 3 – 16% dos procedimentos cirúrgicos realizados em pacientes internados, com taxa de mortalidade de 0,4 – 0,8%. Estudos realizados em países em desenvolvimento estimam uma taxa de mortalidade de 5 a 10% em pacientes submetidos à cirurgia de maior porte. A segurança em cirurgia emerge como importante preocupação para a saúde pública global. Cirurgia é um dos mais complexos e caros serviços prestados pelos sistemas de saúde.
Nos países em desenvolvimento , o mau estado da infraestrutura e dos equipamentos; os problemas quanto ao suprimento e à qualidade de medicamentos e de material médico-cirúrgico; as falhas na gestão da organização e no controle de infecção; o desempenho insatisfatório dos profissionais devido à baixa motivação ou à deficiência na capacitação técnica; as falhas no correto diagnóstico pré-operatório; as deficiências na consulta pré-anestésica, e o subfinanciamento dos custos operacionais dos serviços de saúde, tornam a probabilidade de ocorrência de eventos adversos muito maior do que em países industrializados.
Veja alguns dados:
World Alliance for Patient Safety : forward programme. World Health Organization 2004, apud: Harvard Medical Practice Study in 1991
EVENTOS ADVERSOS # COMPLICAÇÕES
O termo Evento Adverso (EA) cirúrgico é relativamente novo, mas o conceito de monitoramento dos resultados cirúrgicos, incluindo complicações pós-operatórias é muito antigo, havendo referência a sistemas de coleta de informações hospitalares existentes em 1732. Estatísticas vitais existem na Grã-Bretanha desde 1838. Em 1850 foi estabelecida a associação entre transmissão de infecção e a higiene da mão e em 1854 destacados os riscos aos pacientes relacionados com a má higiene nos hospitais. Em 1910, Ernest Codman apontou a necessidade de avaliação rotineira dos resultados negativos em cirurgias para a melhoria da qualidade da assistência. Nos anos 90 do século passado, continuou a expansão do interesse no campo de erros e danos relacionados com a assistência à saúde, porém com mudança no foco daspesquisas, que inicialmente buscavam estimar a frequência e natureza dos EAs em instituições e mais recentemente uma ênfase dirigida a como lidar melhor com o problema e uma crescente concordância com uma abordagem sistêmica ou organizacional.
EAs cirúrgicos contribuem significativamente para a morbidade pós-operatória, sendo sua avaliação e monitoramento frequentemente imprecisos e com validade incerta. Dada a tendência de redução do tempo de permanência hospitalar e o aumento no uso de técnicas cirúrgicas inovadoras, especialmente minimamente invasivas e os procedimentos endoscópicos, a avaliação e o monitoramento eficiente dos eventos adversos cirúrgicos tornam-se cruciais. Alguns atributos comuns foram identificados em recente revisão de eventos adversos : EAs são desfavoráveis, indesejáveis e prejudiciais, têm impacto sobre o paciente e estão associados a um processo da assistência à saúde, mais do que a um processo natural de doenças. Estudos sobre eventos adversos têm demonstrado a complexidade de sua análise devido à variabilidade dos sistemas de registro e a extensa gama de definições na literatura científica para complicações pós-operatórias.
As complicações pós-operatórias resultam da interação de fatores dependentes do paciente, de sua enfermidade e da atenção à saúde recebida. O estudo dos EAs cirúrgicos tem especial relevância por sua frequência, porque em parte são atribuíveis a deficiências na atenção à saúde, pelo impacto considerável sobre a saúde dos pacientes, pela repercussão econômica no gasto social e sanitário e por constituir um instrumento de avaliação da qualidade da assistência. Os eventos adversos de maior interesse à saúde pública são os evitáveis, suscetíveis a intervenções dirigidas à sua prevenção. Os eventos adversos cirúrgicos estão relacionados com acidentes intra-operatórios cirúrgicos ou anestésicos, com complicações pós-operatórias imediatas ou tardias e com o fracasso da intervenção cirúrgica.
Os EAs cirúrgicos foram objeto de estudos realizados nos EUA , Austrália e Espanha . No estudo sobre EAs cirúrgicos em hospitais de Colorado e Utah (EUA) foi calculada a taxa de incidência de 1,9% para o total de pacientes internados. Dentre os pacientes submetidos à cirurgia e nos casos de parto a taxa de incidência de EAs cirúrgicos foi de 3,0%, sendo 54% considerados evitáveis. Foi estimado que 5,6% dos EAs cirúrgicos resultaram em óbito. No estudo para determinar a taxa de EAs em pacientes cirúrgicos na Austrália , a prevalência de internações cirúrgicas associadas com um EA foi calculada em 21,9%. Quanto à prevenção, foram classificados como altamente evitáveis 47,6% dos EAs, pouco evitáveis 31,4% e 20,8% não evitáveis.
Foi realizado um estudo para descrever os eventos adversos em cirurgias de parede abdominal e analisar as associações entre os resultados e determinadas características dospacientes, em um serviço de cirurgia geral em Valencia, Espanha . Complicações foram identificadas em 16,32% dos pacientes. A relevância da questão da segurança em cirurgia no Brasil pode ser evidenciada pelos resultados do estudo de Mendes et al. (2009) , especialmente se considerarmos o volume de internações relacionadas com cirurgia ocorridas no país no ano de 2003, cerca de três milhões, ano de referência do estudo mencionado . Além disso, poucos hospitais brasileiros cumprem a legislação sanitária para o licenciamento de estabelecimentos hospitalares.
Dados oriundos do Conselho Regional de Medicina do Estado de São Paulo, referentes à inspeção de 743 hospitais realizadas no ano de 2003, demonstram que 52,5% apresentaram condições físicas inadequadas, em desacordo com a legislação sanitária. Deve ainda ser destacado que os hospitais de pequeno porte, ou seja, com até cinquenta leitos, representam 62% dos estabelecimentos hospitalares e 18% dos leitos existentes no sistema de saúde brasileiro. Esses hospitais estão distribuídos principalmente em municípios de pequeno porte interioranos, são de baixa complexidade e densidade tecnológica, apresentam taxa de ocupação baixa (32,8%) e 89% possuem sala de cirurgia.
Um corpo inerte aguarda sobre a mesa
Naquele palco despido de alegria.
O artista das obras efêmeras se apresenta.
A opereta começa, ausente de melodia
E o mascarado mudo trabalha com presteza.
Sempre começa com esperança e só términa com certeza.
Se uma vida prolonga, a outra vai-se escapando.
E nem sempre do mundo o aplauso conquistando
Assim segue o artista da obra traiçoeira e conquistas passageiras.
Há muito não espera do mundo os louros da vitória
Estudar, trabalhar é sua história, e a tua maior glória
Hás de encontrar na paz do dever cumprido.
Quando a vivência teus cabelos prateando
E o teu sábio bisturi, num canto repousando
Uma vez que sua missão vai terminando
Espera do bom Deus por tudo, a ti, seja piedoso.
SOIS VÓS INSTRUMENTO DA TUA OBRA.
Following is a list of Dr. Ephraim McDowell’s personal qualities described as “C” words along with evidence corroborating each of the characteristics.
Courageous: When he agreed to attempt an operation that his teachers had stated was doomed to result in death, he, as well as his patient, showed great courage.
Compassionate: He was concerned for his patient and responded to Mrs. Crawford’s pleas for help.
Communicative: He explained to his patient the details of her condition and her chances of survival so that she could make an informed choice.
Committed: He promised his patient that if she traveled to Danville, he would do the operation. He made a commitment to her care.
Confident: He assured the patient that he would do his best, and she expressed confidence in him by traveling 60 miles by horseback to his home.
Competent: Although lacking a formal medical degree, he had served an apprenticeship in medicine for 2 years in Staunton, Virginia, and he had spent 2 years in the study of medicine at the University of Edinburgh, an excellent medical school. In addition, he had taken private lessons from John Bell, one of the best surgeons in Europe. By 1809 he was an experienced surgeon.
Carefull: Despite the fact that 2 physicians had pronounced Mrs. Crawford as pregnant, he did a careful physical examination and diagnosed that she was not pregnant but had an ovarian tumor. He also carefully planned each operative procedure with a review of the pertinent anatomic details. As a devout Presbyterian, he wrote special prayers for especially difficult cases and performed many of these operations on Sundays.
Courteous: He was humble and courteous in his dealings with others. Even when he was publicly and privately criticized after the publication of his case reports, he did not react with vitriol. The qualities of character demonstrated by Dr. Ephraim McDowell 200 years ago are still essential for surgeons today.