Liver trauma is responsible for the majority of penetrating abdominal trauma and is the third most common injury caused by firearms. Presenting a 20% mortality rate, it is an organ with wide and complex vascularization, receiving blood from the hepatic veins and portal vein, as well as from the hepatic arteries. The diagnosis is not always simple in polytrauma patients and contains a wide range of exams such as computerized tomography and diagnostic peritoneal lavage. Treatment depends mostly on a few factors such as the patient’s hemodynamic stability, the degree of injury according to the AAST classification, the resources available, and the surgeon’s expertise. Considering these factors, minor lesions can be treated mostly with a conservative approach in hemodynamically stable patients. Embolization by arteriography has shown good results in major lesions in clinically stable patients as well. On the other hand, more complex lesions associated with hemodynamically unstable patients may indicate damage control surgery applying techniques such as temporary liver packing and clamping the pedicle to restore the hemodynamic status. This chapter aims to describe those techniques and their indications in liver trauma.
Part of the book: Trauma and Emergency Surgery