OPERATIVE surgery on the liver is by no means a recent development. Successful resections of liver tissue have been reported by Burckhardt (1887),1 Von Bergmann (1893),2 Auvray (1897),3 Langenbuch (1897),4 Keen (1899),5 Thompson (1899),6 and others. Although both Langenbuch4 and Keen5 realized as early as 1900 that there were relatively avascular planes in the liver along which resections could be carried out safely, most surgeons refrained from attacking lesions of the liver because of the threats of air embolism, operative and postoperative hemorrhage, and bile peritonitis.
A pioneer effort in the field was Wendel's.7 He reported the first dissection and ligation of the right hepatic artery and duct before removal of the right half of the liver for a primary carcinoma of the liver (1911). Subsequent anatomical studies led him to propose an anatomically justified approach to hepatic resections (1920).8
GANS H, KOH S, AUST JB. Hepatic ResectionResults in 39 Patients Operated Upon During the 11-Year Period From 1952 to 1963. Arch Surg. 1966;93(3):523-530. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1966.01330030153032