Patients with metastatic colorectal cancer limited to the liver are candidates for regional chemotherapy with implantable hepatic artery infusion (HAI) pumps. The poor prognosis of these patients, and the requirement of a laparotomy for placement, has deterred many oncologists from referral for HAI pump implantation. Minimally invasive surgical techniques are particularly well suited for the task of HAI pump placement in patients who may not tolerate the additional physiologic stress of a major surgical intervention. Advances in laparoscopic techniques allow pumps to be implanted safely and effectively, replicating the well-described tenets of open pump placement. The principal steps of the operation include a thorough laparoscopic evaluation to exclude extrahepatic disease, complete vascular isolation of the hepatic and gastroduodenal arteries, ligation of aberrant hepatic vessels, secure cannulation of the gastroduodenal artery, and confirmation of complete hepatic perfusion without extrahepatic perfusion. We describe the procedure and briefly review our clinical experience. We believe that the benefits typically derived from minimally invasive approaches (less pain, fewer perioperative complications, shorter hospitalization, faster recovery, and potentially less immune suppression) will be seen in these patients as well. If so, a completely laparoscopic approach to regional treatment of the liver may extend survival and improve the quality of life of patients whose prognosis is poor regardless of treatment. Controlled trials will be required to evaluate the added value of a laparoscopic approach to the placement of the hepatic artery pump.
Urbach DR, Herron DM, Khajanchee YS, Swanström LL, Hansen PD. Laparoscopic Hepatic Artery Infusion Pump Placement. Arch Surg. 2001;136(6):700-704. doi:10.1001/archsurg.136.6.700