Cavernous transformation of the portal vein in pancreatic cancer surgery-venous bypass graft first.
Background In recent years, several techniques have been introduced to allow safe oncologic resections of cancers of the pancreatic head. While resections of the mesenterico-portal axis became now a part of the routine treatment, patients with a cavernous transformation of the portal vein still pose a surgical challenge and are regularly deemed unresectable. Objective Here, we describe a technique of initial venous bypass graft placement between the superior mesenteric vein or its tributaries and the portal vein before the resection of the pancreatic head. This approach avoids uncontrollable bleeding as well as venous congestion of the intestine with a continuous hepatic perfusion and facilitates oncologic resection of pancreatic head cancers. This technique, in combination with previously published resection strategies, enables tumor resection in locally advanced pancreatic head cancers. Conclusions Venous bypass graft first operations facilitate and enable the resection of the pancreatic head cancers in patients with a cavernous transformation of the portal vein thus rendering these patients resectable.