The left and right hepatic arteries make up the two branches of the common hepatic artery and are used for supplying blood to the liver within the human body.

The general structure of these arteries (as described in most medical textbooks) is not always the same for every individual. According to one study performed by the University of Melbourne’s Department of Surgery, a significant number of cases had abnormalities in the hepatic arteries. Due to the high occurrence of these abnormalities, surgical complications can arise if the surgeon is not aware of the possible differences in anatomy.

Hepatobiliary surgery is the name given to surgery that may involve the liver, gallbladder, bile ducts, pancreas, and other associated structures. This type of surgery can include working directly with the right and left hepatic artery structures. These arteries must also be operated on in a liver transplant surgery, in which case they would have to be attached to the donor liver.