Most abdominal neoplasms involving the root of the superior mesenteric artery and/or celiac artery are difficult to manage with conventional operative techniques because of limited intestinal ischemia times and poor accessibility to the tumor region. Ex vivo surgery followed by intestinal autotransplantation (IATx) is a relatively novel surgical strategy to offer chances for complete resection in such hopeless circumstances. This review aims to assess potential surgical indications, operative techniques and clinical outcomes after IATx. Currently the main indications reported for IATx broadly include pancreatic, mesenteric and retroperitoneal neoplasms closely involving the superior mesenteric vessels. The preliminary results show that radical resection can be effectively achieved in carefully selective patients. Although perioperative morbidity and mortality are relatively high, there are several long-term survivors, particularly after complete resection of benign and low-grade tumor. Early tumor recurrence, however, remains a major problem in patients with high-grade tumor, particularly pancreatic ductal carcinoma. In conclusion, IATx allows patients with selected abdominal neoplasms involving the major mesenteric vessels to be completely resected. However, this aggressive approach is associated with a considerable operative risk, and should only be performed at experienced centers. Additional and adjunctive treatment therapies are required to improve the efficacy of this treatment.

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