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HPB (Oxford). 2014 Feb;16(2):164-9. doi: 10.1111/hpb.12098. Epub 2013 Apr 22.

Evaluation of a laparoscopic liver resection in the setting of cirrhosis.

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  • 1Deparment of Surgery, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY, USA.



Patients presenting with cirrhosis and hepatic tumours represent a fragile group that have typically been avoided in early series of laparoscopic liver resection. This study was undertaken to evaluate the results of a laparoscopic hepatectomy in the setting of cirrhosis.


Subgroup analysis of patients with cirrhosis within a series of 327 patients undergoing a laparoscopic resection was performed. Comparisons were made with patients without cirrhosis where appropriate to highlight differences in patient selection and outcomes. Specific variables assessed included operative details and short-term outcomes including length of stay (LOS), morbidity and mortality. Outcomes specific to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) were also assessed.


There were 52 patients with cirrhosis undergoing a laparoscopic hepatic resection. Ninety per cent of patients were Childs class A, with a median model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) score of 8. Hepatitis C was the most common cause of cirrhosis (88.5%), whereas the most common indication for an operation was HCC (71.2%). Resections were generally limited, with the median number of segments resected being 2 (range: 1-4). Complications occurred in 13 (25%) patients, with a 90-day mortality of 5.8%. The median LOS was 3 days.


A laparoscopic hepatectomy is safe in the setting of cirrhosis, provided the application of appropriate selection criteria and sufficient experience with the procedure.

© 2013 International Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association.

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