Published online May 27, 2023. doi: 10.4240/wjgs.v15.i5.776
Peer-review started: November 9, 2022
First decision: January 3, 2023
Revised: January 16, 2023
Accepted: March 15, 2023
Article in press: March 15, 2023
Published online: May 27, 2023
Minimally invasive donor hepatectomy (MIDH) is a relatively novel procedure that can potentially increase donor safety and contribute to faster rehabilitation of donors. After an initial period in which donor safety was not effectively validated, MIDH currently seems to provide improved results, provided that it is conducted by experienced surgeons. Appropriate selection criteria are crucial to achieve better outcomes in terms of complications, blood loss, operative time, and hospital stay. Beyond a pure laparoscopic technique, various approaches have been recommended such as hand-assisted, laparoscopic-assisted, and robotic donation. The latter has shown equal outcomes compared to open and laparoscopic approaches. A steep learning curve seems to exist in MIDH, mainly due to the fragility of the liver parenchyma and the experience needed for adequate control of bleeding. This review investigated the challenges and the opportunities of MIDH and the barriers to its global dissemination. Surgeons need expertise in liver transplantation, hepatobiliary surgery, and minimally invasive techniques to perform MIDH. Barriers can be categorized into surgeon-related, institutional-related, and accessibility. More robust data and the creation of international registries are needed for further evaluation of the technique and the acceptance from more centers worldwide.
Core Tip: Living donor liver transplantation provides an excellent option for expanding the donor pool. Minimally invasive donor hepatectomy can potentially minimize complications of hepatectomy to the donors and have a better cosmetic effect. This approach demands expertise and experience in both liver surgery and minimally invasive techniques to maximize its potential.