JOURNAL ARTICLE

Feasibility and safety of laparoscopic liver resection for hepatocellular carcinoma with a tumor size of 5-10 cm

Jun-hua Ai, Jian-wei Li, Jian Chen, Ping Bie, Shu-guang Wang, Shu-guo Zheng
PloS One 2013, 8 (8): e72328
23991092

BACKGROUND: Although laparoscopic liver resection has developed rapidly and gained widespread acceptance for the treatment of benign liver diseases and hepatocellular carcinoma with a small tumor size, its usefulness for the treatment of large tumors is less clear, due to concerns about compromising oncological principles and patient safety. The purpose of this study was to explore the safety and feasibility of laparoscopic liver resection for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma with a tumor size of 5-10 cm.

METHODS: From March 2007 to December 2011, we performed liver resection in 275 patients with hepatocellular carcinoma with a tumor size of 5-10 cm. Laparoscopic liver resection was performed in 97 patients (Lap-Hx group) and open liver resection was performed in 178 patients (Open-Hx group). Operative time, estimated intraoperative blood loss, blood transfusion rate, and length of postoperative hospital stay were compared between the two groups. Early and intermediate-term postoperative outcomes were also compared.

RESULTS: Only one liver resection was performed for every patient with HCC in the present study.No operative deaths occurred in either group. Nine of the laparoscopic procedures were converted to open resection (conversion rate 9.28%). There were no significant differences in mean operative time (245±105 min vs 225±112 min; P = .469), mean estimated intraoperative blood loss (460±426 mL vs 454±365 mL; P = .913), or blood transfusion rate (4.6%, 4/88) vs (2.8%, 5/178)(P = .480) between the Lap-Hx and Open-Hx groups. However, postoperative hospital stay was shorter in the Lap-Hx group than the Open-Hx group (8.2±3.6 days vs 13.5±3.8 days; P = .028). There was a lower rate of postoperative complications in the Lap-Hx group than the Open-Hx group (9% vs 30%; P = .001), but there were no severe complications in either group. The median overall follow-up time was 21 months (range 2-50 months) and the median follow-up of time of survivors was 23 months. The median follow-up time was 25 months in the Lap-Hx group and 20 months in the Open-Hx group. The follow-up rate was 95% (84 patients) in the Lap-Hx group and 95% (169 patients) in the Open-Hx group, which was not a significant difference between the two groups (P = .20). Tumor recurrence occurred in 17 patients (20%) in the Lap-Hx group and 35 patients (21%) in the Open-Hx group, which was not a significant difference between the two groups (P = .876). A total of 33 patients (13%) died during the study period, including 12 patients (14%) in the Lap-Hx group and 21 patients (12%) in the Open-Hx group, which was not a significant difference between the two groups (P = .695). There were also no significant differences in the 1-year rates of overall survival (94% vs 95%; P = .942) or disease-free survival (93% vs 92%; P = .941), or the 3-year rates of overall survival (86% vs 88%; P = .879) or disease-free survival (66% vs 67%; P = .931), between the Lap-Hx and Open-Hx groups.

CONCLUSIONS: Laparoscopic liver resection is safe and feasible in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma with a tumor size of 5-10 cm. Laparoscopic liver resection can avoid some of the disadvantages of open resection, and is beneficial in selected patients based on preoperative liver function, tumor size and location.

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