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Colorectal cancer remains the second most common cause of cancer death in the West. Every year in the UK alone, around 14 000 patients develop secondary hepatic deposits from a primary colorectal cancer. Surgery remains the mainstay of treatment for liver metastases. Although not every patient is a candidate for surgery, earlier referral and rapid assessment are required to improve outcome. With the use of most recent technologies and radical surgery, increasing numbers of patients should have therapy with curative intent. This paper reviews preoperative patient evaluation and selection, surgical strategies, adjuvant therapy and postoperative follow-up. Other treatment modalities to increase tumour resectability are also described.