Starting a successful hepatic artery infusion pump program: A practical guide

Hannah G. McDonald, Reema A. Patel, Carleton S. Ellis, Sepideh Gholami, Mautin Barry-Hundeyin, Prakash K. Pandalai, Joseph Kim, Michael J. Cavnar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Implementation of a successful hepatic artery infusion pump program requires numerous factors to be in place, and the lack of any of these may lead to program failure. First and foremost, hepatic artery infusion pump programs must have adequate surgical expertise in the complex technical aspects of hepatic artery infusion pump implantation and postoperative management. Most new hepatic artery infusion pump programs are initiated by a surgeon and led in conjunction with a medical oncologist. Medical oncology experience in floxuridine dosing is critical in maximizing the treatment doses and the number of cycles administered while avoiding biliary toxicity. This is facilitated by collaboration with an engaged pharmacy team. To have adequate patient volume for a successful program, internal and external stakeholders must have buy-in, including surgical and medical oncology colleagues unfamiliar with hepatic artery infusion pumps, colorectal surgery, and other referring providers. Programmatic support must be obtained from the hospital, cancer center, and department administration. Day-to-day pump access for chemotherapy and maintenance saline fills must be performed by appropriately trained infusion nurses to avoid complications. Nuclear and diagnostic radiology experience is key to identifying extrahepatic perfusion and hepatic artery infusion pump–specific complications. Additionally, skilled interventional radiologists and gastroenterologists are necessary to identify and treat rare complications rapidly. Finally, given the current rapid expansion of hepatic artery infusion pump programs, new programs must identify engaged mentors to help guide patient selection, navigate the nuanced issues that may arise, and provide advice in the case of complications. Although hepatic artery infusion pump dissemination outside of several major tertiary centers previously had stalled, establishing a successful and active hepatic artery infusion pump is feasible with appropriate training, mentorship, and thoughtful assembly of a dedicated multidisciplinary team.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-105
Number of pages5
JournalSurgery (United States)
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2023

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© 2023 Elsevier Inc.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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