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Langenbecks Arch Surg. 2007 Jan;392(1):45-54. Epub 2006 Sep 16.

Liver resective surgery: a multivariate analysis of postoperative outcome and complication.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, University of Udine, School of Medicine, Udine, Italy.



Notwithstanding technical advances and high experience of liver resection of specialized centers, the rate of complications after surgical resection could be high. In this study, we analyzed causes and foreseeable risk factors linked to postoperative morbidity on the ground of data derived from a single center surgical population.


From September 1989 to March 2005, 134 consecutive patients had liver resection for Hcc and 153 consecutive patients with liver metastasis (derived from either colorectal cancer or noncolorectal cancer) at our department. We performed 22 major hepatectomy, 20 left hepatectomy, 14 trisegmentectomy, 77 bisegmentectomy and/or left lobectomy, 74 segmentectomy, and 80 wedge resection.


In-hospital mortality rate was 4.5%, about 7% in Hcc cases and 2.6% in liver metastasis. Morbidity rate was 47.7%, caused by the rising of ascites (10%), temporary impairment liver function (19%), biliary fistula (6%), hepatic abscess (25%), hemoperitoneum (10%), and pleural effusion (30%) sometimes combined each other. Some variables, associated with the technical aspects of surgical procedure, are responsible of the rising of complication as: Pringle maneuver length of more than 20 minutes (p=0.001); the type of liver resection procedure [major hepatectomy (p=0.02), left hepatectomy (p=0.04), trisegmentectomy (p=0.04), bisegmentectomy and/or left lobectomy (p=0.04)]; and the request of an amount of blood transfusion of more than 600 cc (p=0.04). Also, both liver dysfunction, in particular Child A vs B and C (p=0.01), and histopathological grading (p=0.01) are associated with a high rate of postsurgical complication in Hcc cases.


We make the following recommendations: every liver resection should be planned after intraoperative ultrasonography, anatomical surgical procedure should be preferred instead of wedge resection, and modern devices should be used, like Argon Beam and Ligasure dissector, to reduce the incidence of both intraoperative and postoperative bleeding and biliary leakage.

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