Laparoscopic liver resection: 5-year experience at a single center

Tran Cong Duy Long, Nguyen Hoang Bac, Nguyen Duc Thuan, Le Tien Dat, Dang Quoc Viet, Le Chau Hoang Quoc Chuong
Surgical Endoscopy 2014, 28 (3): 796-802

BACKGROUND: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a common cancer, especially in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region, where the prevalence of hepatitis virus infection is high. Liver resection is a potentially curative and popular therapy for HCC. Laparoscopic surgery using minimally invasive techniques potentially brings benefits to patients who need liver resection for HCC. This study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness, safety, and benefits of laparoscopic liver resection for HCC with long-term follow-up evaluation.

METHODS: This cohort study with 5-year results of total laparoscopic hepatectomy for HCC was conducted in one center. Patients with HCC were selected for laparoscopic liver resection by the same team. The operation also was performed by one team of surgeons. The follow-up protocol was similar to that for open surgery. The patients were scheduled to return for examination every 2 months after the operation. The data for the patients were collected and analyzed using SPSS software.

RESULTS: From January 2008 to December 2012, 173 enrolled patients with HCC underwent laparoscopic liver resection. The male-to-female ratio was 3:1. The mean age of the patients was 56 years (range 16-83 years). The follow-up period for 130 patients was 21.6 ± 16.0 months (range 0-60 months). The mean tumor size was 3.73 cm (range 2-10 cm). The stages of HCC according to the Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) categorization were as follows: 0 (6 %), A1 (59.5 %), A2 (6.9 %), A4 (2.9 %), and B (27.2 %). Four patients required conversion to other techniques (2.3 %) because of the potential for major bleeding and tumor perforation. The types of resection were resection of one segment (segments 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8; 43.8 %), resection of two segments (posterior sector, anterior sector, segments 5 and 6, and left lateral sector; 47.9 %), resection of three segments (left and central liver; 4.7 %), and four segments (right liver; 3.6 %). The mean operation time was 112 ± 56 min (range 30-345 min), and the median blood loss was 100 ml (range 20-1,200 ml). The mean hospital stay was 6.5 ± 2.0 days (range, 3-19 days). No perioperative mortality occurred. The overall survival rates were 94.2 % at 1 year, 87 % at 2 years, 72.9 % at 3 years, 72.9 % at 4 years, and 72.9 % at 5 years. The mean overall survival time was 49.7 ± 2.1 months (range 45.5-53.9 months). The disease-free survival rates were 79.1 % at 1 year, 60 % at 2 years, 57 % at 3 years, 52 % at 4 years, and 26.3 % at 5 years. The mean disease-free survival time was 38.9 ± 2.6 months (range 33.9-44.0 months).

CONCLUSION: Laparoscopic liver resection for HCC is feasible, safe, and effective, with good oncologic results. Major and anatomic hepatectomy are possible with improved skill and experience. Laparoscopic liver resection is a promising treatment option with minimally invasive benefits for HCC patients.

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