Repair of portal vein injury in a hostile abdomen can be very challenging, complicated by massive hemorrhage or stenosis. It can seldom be successfully carried out, even by experienced hepatobiliary surgeons. The ideal venous clamping technique is often not feasible and increases the risk of lethal portal vein laceration. The common mistake being the forceful use of clamps around the vein in the attempt to obtain vascular control, resulting in additional injuries.
We provide a descriptive report of two cases detailing a careful step-by-step technique for the management of portal vein injury by inserting an endovascular balloon inflated with serum to control bleeding and repair the vein.
In patients who required this technique, no bleeding recurrence, nor portal vein thrombosis or stenosis was detected by CT-scan during follow-up.
The endovascular balloon occlusion technique for the reconstruction of portal vein injuries in hostile abdomen is a safe and life-saving procedure that should be part of the armamentarium of visceral surgeons.