Aberrant Left Hepatic Artery in Laparoscopic Gastric Banding
Background:The aberrant left hepatic artery (ALHA) is an anatomic variation which may be an obstacle in the laparoscopic gastric banding operation. Based on our experience, our mission was to answer the questions: How frequently is an ALHA encountered? Is division necessary? Are there any additional complications in cases where the ALHA is preserved? Methods: In a prospectively collected database of 270 patients undergoing laparoscopic gastric banding in our unit, information including presence of an ALHA, clinical data, diagnostic work-up, operative reports, laboratory data, and follow-up data were collected. Results: In 48 patients (17.7%) (39 women, 9 men, mean age 39.2 years) an ALHA was observed. Hiatal dissection was not impaired in any of these patients, and none required division of the ALHA. In all but two cases, the band was placed above the ALHA, offering additional stability to the band positioning. In 2 patients (4.1%), the artery was injured during dissection and was divided due to ongoing bleeding. Twenty-two (45.8%) of the ALHAs were of intermediate or large size. Neither pouch dilatation nor band slippage occurred in the above-mentioned group. The two patients with divided hepatic arteries had no postoperative symptoms related to impaired liver function. Conclusions: ALHA is not an uncommon finding during laparoscopic gastric banding and may be found in approximately 18% of patients. Division can nearly always be avoided and may be required only in selected cases due to bleeding. Patients do not experience clinical complications after division, although liver enzymes may be temporarily elevated, and no monitoring is necessary.
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