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Surg Endosc. 2009 Jun;23(6):1198-203. doi: 10.1007/s00464-009-0372-z. Epub 2009 Mar 5.

Perioperative analysis of laparoscopic versus open liver resection.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Diamond Health Care Centre, University of British Columbia, 2775 Laurel Street, 5th Floor, Vancouver, V5Z 1M9, BC, Canada.



Over the past decade there has been an increasing trend toward minimally invasive liver surgery. Initially limited by technical challenges, advances in laparoscopic techniques have rendered this approach safe and feasible. However, as health care costs approach 50% of some provincial budgets, surgical innovation must be justifiable in costs and patient outcomes. With introduction of standardized postoperative liver resection guidelines to optimize patient hospital length of stay, the advantages of laparoscopic liver resection (LLR) compared with open liver resection (OLR) measured by perioperative outcomes and resource utilization are not well defined. It remains to be established whether LLR is superior to OLR by these measurements.


Eighteen LLRs performed at the Vancouver General Hospital from 2005 to 2007 were prospectively analyzed. These data were compared with an equivalent group of 12 consecutive OLRs undertaken immediately prior to the introduction of LLR. Outcomes were evaluated for differences in perioperative morbidity, hospital length of stay, and operative costs.


There were no differences between LLRs and OLRs in demographics, pathology, cirrhosis, tumour location or extent of resection. There were no deaths. LLRs had significantly decreased intraoperative blood loss (287 ml versus 473 ml, p = 0.03), postoperative complications (6% versus 42%, p = 0.03), and length of stay (4.3 versus 5.8 days, p = 0.01) compared with OLRs. There were no differences in operating time for LLRs compared to OLRs (135 min versus 138 min, respectively), total time in the operating theatre (214 min versus 224 min), or costs related to stapler/trocar devices (CA $1267 versus CA $1007).


LLR is associated with decreased morbidity and decreased resource utilization compared with OLR. Perioperative patient outcomes and cost-effectiveness justify LLR despite introduction of standardized postoperative liver resection guidelines and decreased length of stay for OLR.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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