WSES classification and guidelines for liver trauma
For the last 20 years, nonoperative management (NOM) of blunt hepatic trauma (BHT) has been the initial policy whenever this is possible (80% of cases), i.e., in all cases where the hemodynamic status does not demand emergency laparotomy. NOM relies upon the coexistence of three highly effective treatment modalities: radiology with contrast-enhanced computerized tomography (CT) and hepatic arterial embolization, intensive care surveillance, and finally delayed surgery (DS). DS is not a failure of NOM management but rather an integral part of the surgical strategy. When imposed by hemodynamic instability, the immediate surgical option has seen its effectiveness transformed by development of the concept of abbreviated (damage control) laparotomy and wide application of the method of perihepatic packing (PHP). The effectiveness of these two conservative and cautious strategies for initial management is evidenced by current experience, but the management of secondary events that may arise with the most severe grades of injury must be both rapid and effective.