Use of the Left Renal Vein as a Practical Conduit in Superior Mesenteric Vein Reconstruction

Haroon Choudry, Diego Avella, Luis Garcia, David Han, Kevin Staveley-O'Carroll, Eric Kimchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Purpose: Invasion of the superior mesenteric vein (SMV) or superior mesenteric-portal vein (SMPV) confluence, in pancreatic adenocarcinoma of the head and uncinate process, is the most common unexpected finding at the time of pancreaticoduodenectomy. Resection of the SMV or SMPV with reconstruction using autologous and synthetic conduits is well established. We describe the use of the left renal vein as a practical, easy, and durable alternative as an interposition graft after pancreaticoduodenectomy with en bloc segmental resection of the SMV. Methods and Results: Involvement of the SMV by a pancreatic mass is resected en bloc with a standard pancreaticoduodenectomy. The left renal vein is then harvested from the junction with the IVC and proximal to the adrenal vein. This is then used as a vein graft for the resected portion of the SMV. Discussion: Complete pancreatic cancer resection with grossly tumor-free margins provides the only chance for long-term cure. Isolated tumor involvement of the SMV or SMPV confluence is not associated with histopathological variables predictive of a poor prognosis and appears to be a function of tumor location rather than an indicator of biological aggressiveness. Recurrence and long-term survival following pancreaticoduodenectomy with and without vein resection are equivalent, provided grossly negative margins are achieved. We describe the use of the left renal vein as a technically feasible, easy, and durable conduit for SMV reconstruction in pancreaticoduodenectomy. After resection of the left renal vein, significant increase in postoperative serum creatinine has not been reported; collateral flow has been confirmed by radiological methods and severe renal dysfunction perioperatively, postoperatively, and during long-term follow-up has not been observed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-120
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery


Dive into the research topics of 'Use of the Left Renal Vein as a Practical Conduit in Superior Mesenteric Vein Reconstruction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this