Retractor injury

Last revised by Vikas Shah on 2 Aug 2021

Retractor injury refers to injury caused by intraoperative retraction of an organ from the operative field. Such injuries most commonly occur in the liver following upper gastro-intestinal surgeries, however brain retraction related injury due to neurosurgical techniques is also a known phenomenon.

Radiographic features


Appearance of a liver retractor injury will depend on the timing of the imaging. In the immediate post-operative period there would typically be a hypodense lesion in the liver edge with a linear, or wedge shape but there could also be diffuse hypodense lesions 2. There may be associated adjacent hematoma. Later there may be atrophy and retraction of the capsule.

Differential diagnosis

The differential diagnosis would include metastasis or abscess.

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: liver
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