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Annals of Surgical Oncology

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Theory of Relativity for Posterosuperior Segments of the Liver

G. Fiorentini MD, F. Ratti MD, F. Cipriani MD, L. Cinelli MD, M. Catena MD, PhD, M. Paganelli MD, L. Aldrighetti MD, PhD
Hepatobiliary Tumors
Volume 26, Issue 4 / April , 2019



The accessibility to posterosuperior segments of the liver has traditionally constituted a restrain to adopt the laparoscopic approach in this setting. To overcome this challenge, multiple approaches have been reported in literature. Total transabdominal approach has been previously described for this purpose, even though the rationale to standardly adopt it and a technical depiction of how to achieve an optimal mobilization has never been specifically addressed.


Total transabdominal purely laparoscopic approach to posterosuperior segments of the liver is presented, with detailed emphasis to the rotational motions targeted in laparoscopy. A literature review is presented to summarize all other possible accesses to posterosuperior area of the liver. The institutional series for the laparoscopic approach to Sg 7, Sg 6+7, and Sg8 is retrospectively described.


Three rotational motions of the liver are specifically addressed in a video presentation and described for the laparoscopic total-transabdominal approach; the local institutional series using this approach is presented. Other miscellaneous approaches identified from literature encompassing variations in operative position, transabdominal, transthoracic, and combined approaches are described.


Complete mobilization of the ligaments of the liver leads to a rotation of the transection line in front of the operator’s view, allowing to achieve a safe total trans-abdominal laparoscopic approach to the posterosuperior ligaments of the liver, without compromising the vascular inflow control, the possibility to convert to open approach, nor requiring potentially harmful decubitus.

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