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Am J Surg. 2010 Nov;200(5):591-5. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2010.07.014.

Hepatic surgery at a VA tertiary medical center: lessons learned.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, USA.



The development of a hepatic surgery center within a US Department of Veterans Affairs hospital is dependent on proper training and institutional support, which can translate into low operative morbidity and mortality rates.


Patients who underwent hepatic procedures between 2003 and 2009 were retrospectively reviewed. A subset analysis of laparoscopic liver resections for patients with hepatocellular cancer (HCC) was performed. One hundred twenty-six patients underwent 130 hepatic procedures, 65% of which were hepatic resections. Ninety-seven percent of cases were for malignant disease, including HCC (70%).


The morbidity and mortality rates were 15.5% and 2.4%, respectively. For patients with HCC there was no difference in operative outcomes or overall survival when procedures were performed laparoscopically.


A Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital specializing in hepatic surgery can achieve low complication rates comparable with those of high-volume centers. The numbers of patient referrals and hepatic resections and the proportion of laparoscopic operations increased after the creation of a dedicated hepatic surgery center within a single VA hospital.

Published by Elsevier Inc.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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