Although the number of laparoscopic liver resections (LRRs) has increased, studies of surgical outcomes in comparison with the conventional open approach are limited. The purpose of this study was to analyze the surgical outcomes (safety and efficacy) of LLR versus open liver resection (OLR) for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
We collected data on all patients who received liver resection for HCC between April 2015 and September 2016 in our institution, and retrospectively investigated the demographic and perioperative data, and also surgical outcomes.
Laparoscopic liver resection was performed in 225 patients and OLR in 291. In patients who underwent minor hepatectomy, LLR associated with a shorter duration of operation time (200 vs 220 minutes; P < 0.001), less blood loss (100 vs 225 mL; P < 0.001), lower transfusion rate (3.0% vs 12.0%; P = 0.012), and shorter postoperative hospital stay (6 vs 7 days; P < 0.001) compared with OLR. Dietary recovery was relatively fast in the group of LLR, but there were no significant differences in hepatic inflow occlusion rate, complication rate, and transfusion volume. Patients who received major hepatectomy had a longer duration of operation (240 vs 230 minutes; P < 0.001), less blood loss (200 vs 400 mL; P < 0.001), lower transfusion rate (4.8% vs 16.5%; P = 0.002), lower hepatic inflow occlusion rate (68.3% vs 91.7%; P < 0.001), and shorter postoperative hospital stay (6 vs 8 days; P < 0.001). Complication rate (P = 0.366) and transfusion volume (P = 0.308) did not differ between groups.
Laparoscopic liver resection is a feasible and safe alternative to OLR for HCC when performed by a surgeon experienced with the relevant surgical techniques, associated with less blood loss, lower transfusion rate, a rapid return to a normal diet, and shorter postoperative hospital stay with no compromise in complications. Further, long-term follow-up should be acquired for adequate evaluation for survival.