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Identify the cystic duct as it emerges from the gallbladder. Attempt to identify the cystic artery, a branch of the right hepatic artery which usually passes posterior to the common hepatic duct to reach the wall of the gallbladder.Posterior to the proper hepatic artery and common bile duct, identify the portal vein (Figure 38.2). The portal vein originates at the union of the splenic and superior mesenteric veins in the retroperitoneal space, posterior to the head of the pancreas. It courses superiorly and to the right, posterior to the first part of the duodenum, and enters the hepatoduodenal ligament.
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