Objective: Radical surgical treatment improves the prognosis of patients affected by Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) thrombosis concomitant to renal carcinoma. However, thrombus extension above the infrahepatic IVC represents a major technical topic for surgeons because of the possible occurrence of uncontrollable haemorrhages and tumor fragmentation. We report the results of an innovative surgical approach to caval thrombosis including the isolation of the IVC from the liver as routinely performed during liver harvesting. In the presence of retro-hepatic IVC thrombosis, this technique improves vascular control and allows to perform a large cavotomy with an en-bloc removal of the thrombus and the tumor. Methods: From January 1995 through June 2003, 15 patients with renal cancer and caval thrombosis were treated at our Institution. Four, ten and one patients were respectively affected by an infrahepatic (Level I), retro-hepatic (Level II) and atrial (Level III) IVC thrombosis. Results: All patients underwent radical surgical treatment. In presence of Level II caval thrombosis, the patients underwent the above reported surgical technique. Perioperative mortality was absent; major morbidity occurred in one patient (6.7%). The thrombus was radically removed in all cases. After a mean follow-up of 53.9 months (5-100 months) all patients but one are still alive. One patient died 9 months after surgery with multiple bilateral pulmonary metastases. Conclusions: Isolation of the retro-hepatic IVC is a safe and effective manoeuvre to significantly reduce perioperative mortality and morbidity in patients affected by Level II caval thrombosis concomitant to renal carcinoma.
- Inferior Vena Cava Thrombosis
- Renal carcinoma
- Surgical technique
ASJC Scopus subject areas