Comparison of arcuate-legged clipped versus sutured hepatic artery, portal vein, and bile duct anastomoses

Sunil K. Geevarghese, Anne L. Bradley, James Atkinson, J. Kelly Wright, William C. Chapman, David H. Van Buren, K. Taylor Blair, C. H. Hutchins, Kareem Jabbour, James Phillips, Phillip E. Williams, C. Wright Pinson

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20 Scopus citations


Attempts at improving anastomoses have included the development of stapling techniques. Our purpose was to evaluate arcuate-legged clipped versus standard sutured anastomoses of the hepatic artery (HA), portal vein (PV), and bile duct in a porcine liver transplantation model. Two groups of pigs were studied intraoperatively and 1 day after liver transplantation. A control group underwent sutured anastomosis of PV and HA with polypropylene and of bile duct with polydioxanone (n = 8). An experimental group underwent anastomoses with arcuate-legged clips (n = 8). We analyzed the time to perform anastomosis and flows before and at various time points after anastomosis. In addition, patency and histology of the anastomoses were evaluated 1 day after operation, including a fibrin-thrombosis score, medial injury, and inflammation score. Times to complete HA and PV anastomoses were not different between clipped and sutured groups. However, the time was shorter to complete bile duct anastomosis with clips than with sutures (6.3 ± 1.1 minutes and 13.3 ± 2.0 minutes, respectively). Flows through HA anastomoses were not different between groups, but flow through the PV was higher in clipped compared with sutured anastomosis (P = 0.06). Patency was 100 per cent with no leaks for all three anastomoses in both groups. Histologic data were similar between vascular anastomotic groups. Sutured bile duct anastomoses revealed mild smooth muscle injury in 75 per cent whereas clipped bile duct anastomoses displayed no smooth muscle injury. We conclude that arcuate-legged clipped anastomosis represents a viable option to sutured anastomoses of the PV, HA, and bile duct anastomoses. Bile duct anastomoses were completed in less than half the time and with less tissue damage documented histologically.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-316
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1999


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