Hammer versus Swiss Army knife: Developing a strategy for the management of bilobar colorectal liver metastases

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For patients with bilobar colorectal liver metastases, the recent increase in surgical approaches has resulted in more opportunities to extend the benefits of surgery to patients who were previously deemed unresectable. Surgical options now include anatomic hepatectomy, 1-stage parenchymal sparing hepatectomy, traditional 2-stage hepatectomy with or without portal vein embolization, associated liver partition and portal vein ligation for staged hepatectomy, local ablative techniques, and hepatic arterial infusion therapy. As the diversity of options has increased, controversy has arisen as to the optimal operative management of patients with complex bilateral disease. Moreover, there has been a tendency for various surgeons and groups to champion a single strategy. In contrast to this trend, this article introduces a novel “tailored approach” that takes advantage of all available tools and individually applies them based on an algorithmic assessment of the extent and distribution of metastatic disease.

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