This procedure is performed to divert the flow of blood into normal healthy part of the liver which will be preserved, prior to operative removal of the affected part of the liver with tumour. This is done to increase the size of the future liver remnant and prevent liver insufficiency.
The procedure is performed under aseptic conditions in the angiography suite. During the procedure, local anaesthesia (pain killer) is injected into the skin at the access site to prevent discomfort. An injection of a mild sedative can also be given to ensure that you are comfortable and relaxed during the procedure.
Under imaging guidance, a pinhole access is obtained into the portal vein within the liver. Angiogram of the portal vein is obtained to evaluate the branching pattern of the vein. The branch of the portal vein supplying the diseased portion of the liver (With the tumour) is blocked with the use of special devices (metallic coils, glue or PVA particles). The entire blood volume coming into the liver is diverted into the healthy portion of the liver which will remain after surgery. Due to the increased blood flow, the healthy portion of the liver enlarges by up to 20-40% of their original size. This helps the body to cope with the loss of the affected lobe of the liver without developing liver insufficiency. These patients tend to recover better and faster post-surgery.