Enterothorax (ET) is a rare complication after hepatic surgery. The literature in this field is limited and mainly based on case reports. The aim of this study was to review our department’s experience.
Patients and methods
We retrospectively analyzed 602 patients who underwent hepatic resection between November 2008 and December 2016. Major hepatic surgery (n = 321) was defined as right or extended right hepatectomy (n = 227), left or extended left hepatectomy (n = 63), trisegmentectomy (n = 13), and living donor liver transplantation (n = 18). ET cases were identified by analyzing clinical courses and radiological imaging.
ET was observed in five out of 602 patients (0.8%). All patients developed the complication after major hepatic surgery (five out of 321, 1.6%). ET exclusively occurred after right (n = 3) or extended right hepatectomy (n = 2). Median time to diagnosis was 22 months. Radiological imaging showed herniation of small (n = 2), large bowel (n = 2), or omental fat (n = 1) with a median diaphragmatic defect of 3.9 cm. Two patients presented with acute incarceration and underwent emergency surgery, one patient reported recurrent pain and underwent elective repair, and two patients refused surgery. Follow-up imaging in two operated patients showed no recurrence of ET after 36 and 8 months.