Preoperative optimization for major hepatic resection

Sarah Walcott-Sapp, Kevin G. Billingsley

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    12 Scopus citations


    Purpose: Major hepatic resections are performed for primary hepatobiliary malignancies, metastatic disease, and benign lesions. Patients with chronic liver disease, including cirrhosis and steatosis, are at an elevated risk of malnutrition and impaired strength and exercise capacity, deficits which cause increased risk of postoperative complications and mortality. The aims of this report are to discuss the pathophysiology of changes in nutrition, exercise capacity, and muscle strength in patient populations likely to require major hepatectomy, and review recommendations for preoperative evaluation and optimization. Methods: Nutritional and functional impairment in preoperative hepatectomy patients, especially those with underlying liver disease, have a complex and multifactorial physiologic basis that is not completely understood. Results: Recognition of malnutrition and compromised strength and exercise tolerance preoperatively can be difficult, but is critical in providing the opportunity to intervene prior to major hepatic resection and potentially improve postoperative outcomes. There is promising data on a variety of nutritional strategies to ensure adequate intake of calories, proteins, vitamins, and minerals in patients with cirrhosis and reduce liver size and degree of fatty infiltration in patients with hepatic steatosis. Emerging evidence supports structured exercise programs to improve exercise tolerance and counteract muscle wasting. Conclusions: The importance of nutrition and functional status in patients indicated for major liver resection is apparent, and emerging evidence supports structured preoperative preparation programs involving nutritional intervention and exercise training. Further research is needed in this field to develop optimal protocols to evaluate and treat this heterogeneous cohort of patients.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)23-35
    Number of pages13
    JournalLangenbeck's Archives of Surgery
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Feb 1 2018


    • Exercise capacity
    • Major hepatectomy
    • Preoperative nutrition

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Surgery


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