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Hepatic haemangiomas are the most common benign liver tumours. They can be treated with surgical resection such as enucleation or hepatectomy if necessary. However, controversy remains over the clinical outcome and safety of these two methods. In this study, we performed a comprehensive meta-analysis to compare the efficacy of liver resection with enucleation for giant haemangiomas.The online databases PubMed, Embase and CNKI (China National Knowledge Infrastructure) were searched for relevant original articles. We compared operation time, blood loss, transfusion requirements, inflow occlusion time and postoperative complications between enucleation and hepatectomy.Seven controlled clinical trials met the predefined inclusion criteria. Analysis indicated that the enucleation group had significantly shorter operation time (weighted mean difference, WMD -28.22, 95% confidence interval, CI, -54.82 to -1.62), less blood loss (WMD -395.92, 95% CI -521.25 to -270.58) and fewer complications (odds ratio, OR, 0.47, 95 % CI 0.34 to 0.65). There were no significant differences between enucleation and hepatectomy with regard to transfusion requirements (OR 0.61, 95% CI 0.22 to 1.68) and inflow occlusion time (WMD 7.91, 95% CI -5.62 to 21.44).Enucleation has advantages over hepatectomy in relation to operation time, blood loss and complications. Enucleation is a safe and effective treatment for giant hepatic haemangioma.