In the most common surgical procedure for perihilar cholangiocarcinoma, the margin status of the proximal bile duct is determined at the final step. Our procedure, the transhepatic hilar approach, confirms a cancer-negative margin status of the proximal bile duct first. We first performed a partial hepatic parenchymal transection to expose the hilar plate, and then transected the proximal bile duct to confirm margin status. Then, divisions of the hepatic artery and portal vein of the future resected liver are performed, followed by the residual hepatic parenchymal transection. The transhepatic hilar approach offers a wide surgical field for safe resection and reconstruction of the portal vein in the middle of the hepatectomy. We reviewed 23 patients with perihilar cholangiocarcinoma who underwent major hepatectomy using our procedure from 2011 to 2015. A combined vascular resection and reconstruction was carried out in 14 patients (60.9%). R0 resection was achieved in 17 patients (73.9%), and the overall 3-year survival rate was 52.9% (median survival time 52.4 months). The transhepatic hilar approach is useful and practicable regardless of local tumor extension, enabling us to determine tumor resectability and perform safe resection and reconstruction of the portal vein early in the operation.
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