Early reports of associated liver partition and portal vein ligation for staged hepatectomy (ALPPS) outcomes have been suboptimal. The literature has confirmed that learning curves influence surgical outcomes. We have 54 months of continuous experience performing ALPPS with strict selection criteria. This study aimed to evaluate the impact of the learning curve on ALPPS outcomes.Methods
We retrospectively compared patients who underwent ALPPS between April 2012 and March 2016. Patients were grouped into 2 24-month (early and late) periods. All candidates had a high tumour load requiring staged hepatectomy after chemotherapy response, a predicted future liver remnant (FLR) less than 30% and good performance status.Results
Thirty-three patients underwent ALPPS during the study period: 16 in the early group (median age 65 yr, mean body mass index [BMI] 27) and 17 in the late group (median age 60 yr, mean BMI 25). Bilobar disease was comparable in both groups (94% v. 88%, p > 0.99). Duration of surgery was not statistically different. Intraoperative blood loss and need for transfusion were significantly lower in the late group (200 ± 109 mL v. 100 ± 43 mL, p < 0.05). The late group had a higher proportion of monosegment ALPPS (4:1). There were no deaths within 90 days in either cohort. Rates of postoperative complications were not statistically significant between groups. The R0 resection rate was similar. The entire 1-year disease-free and overall survival were 52% and 84%, respectively.Conclusion
Excellent results can be obtained in innovative complex surgery with careful patient selection and good technical skills. Additionally, the learning curve brought confidence to perform more complex procedures while maintaining good outcomes.