Piggy-back Hepatic Transplant Technique and Veno-venous Bypass Without Cardiac Arrest: A Multidisciplinary Approach in Borderline T3b/T3c Renal Tumors

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Surgery for renal cell carcinomas with tumor thrombus extending in the Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) can be particularly challenging, especially in the retrohepatic and intraatrial situations (T3b and T3c). Classically, these tumors require the intraoperative use of cardio-pulmonary by-pass (CPB) and deep hypothermic circulatory arrest (DHCA), that can result in specific complications (stroke, platelet dysfunction), with increased postoperative morbidity rates.

In urological practice, a particular IVC preparation method is currently in use, allowing full control both upon the IVC and its tributaries. It is derived from the “piggy-back” liver transplantation technique and implies the resection of all hepatic ligaments, leaving the hepatic vascular connections intact. This procedure is joined by a form of veno-venous bypass (between the right atrium and the infrarenal IVC) that allows a constant central venous pressure (by assuring blood return), with less bleeding and without the need for CPB and DHCA (avoiding, in this way, their inherent complications). All in all, these recently-introduced procedures can offer better thrombus control, improved oncologic outcomes and smaller complication rates. We aim to present a case of borderline T3b/T3c renal tumor that was successfully treated in our university center using these techniques.

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