Precise control of caval and hepatic vessels: Surgical technique to treat level III caval thrombus concomitant to renal cell carcinoma

Ming Chen, Bin Xu, Ning Liu, Hua Jiang, Yiduo Wang, Yu Yang, Xiaowen Zhang, Chao Sun, Jing Liu, Weidong Zhu, Shuqiu Chen


Introduction: We investigated the surgical techniques, safety, and prevention of complications of nephrectomy and removal of tumour thrombus for treating level III inferior vena cava (IVC) concomitant to renal cell carcinoma (RCC). We did this by precise controlling IVC and hepatic vessels without a vascular bypass.

Methods: In this series, we included 5 patients with level III IVC tumour thrombus below the hepatic vein concomitant to RCC. After precisely controlling the IVC and hepatic vessels, we then removed the thrombus en bloc with the renal vein. Blood loss volume, IVC clamping time, hypotension time, resuscitation, cardiocerebrovascular complications, and postoperative organ dysfunction were observed.

Results: Surgery was successfully performed without perioperative death. Blood loss volume was 900 to 1500 mL, operation time was 165 to 250 minutes, vascular clamping time was 8 to 12 minutes, and intraoperative hypotension time was 9 to 12 minutes. Serious perioperative complications were not observed. Local recurrence was not observed during the 9 to 24 months of follow-up. One patient exhibited disease-free survival, 3 developed lung or liver metastasis, and 1 died 11 months after surgery.

Conclusion: Precise control of IVC and hepatic pedicle vessels, without vascular bypass, is a safe and effective surgical treatment for level III tumor thrombus below the hepatic vein concomitant to RCC. The procedure was conducted without increased risks of intraoperative hypotensive shock, difficult resuscitation, pulmonary embolism, and multiple organ dysfunctions.


inferior vena cava; renal cell carcinoma; tumor thrombus; surgical technique

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