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J Nippon Med Sch. 2007 Apr;74(2):158-62.

Usefulness of laparoscopic hepatectomy.

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  • 1Surgery for Organ Function and Biological Regulation, Graduate School of Medicine, Nippon Medical School, 1-1-5 Sendagi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8603, Japan.



The aim of this study was to investigate the advantages of laparoscopic hepatectomy over open surgery for liver tumors.


A retrospective study was performed of 10 patients with liver tumors (9 with hepatocellular carcinoma and 1 with focal nodular hyperplasia) at our hospital. Five patients who had received laparoscopic hepatectomy (Lap-Hx group) were compared with 5 patients who had undergone open hepatectomy (O-Hx group) in the same period. The operative procedure was partial hepatectomy and cholecystectomy in both groups. For liver excision, a microwave coagulation device and an ultrasonically activated scalpel were used.


Mean patient age was 55.6 +/- 13.9 years in the Lap-Hx group and 51.8 +/- 14.1 years in the O-Hx group. Four patients in the Lap-Hx group had hepatocellular carcinoma with liver cirrhosis and 1 patient had focal nodular hyperplasia. All patients in the O-Hx group had hepatocellular carcinoma and 4 patients had associated liver cirrhosis. The mean tumor size was 2.6 +/- 1.5 cm in the Lap-Hx group and 3.0 +/- 1.8 cm in the O-Hx group. The two groups did not thus differ significantly in the preoperative background factors. Blood loss and duration of the postoperative hospital stay were significantly less in the Lap-Hx than in the O-Hx groups(213 +/- 82 vs 247 +/- 97 min; 154 +/- 128 vs 648 +/- 468 ml, p=0.05: and 10.4 +/- 2.3 vs 18.0 +/- 5.1 days, p=0.017), but operating time did not differ significantly.


Laparoscopic hepatectomy has the advantages of reducing the amount of operative blood loss because of the magnified view afforded by the laparoscope and shortening the hospital stay. The procedure is therefore recommended for patients with appropriate liver tumors, in particular, hepatocellular carcinoma in the cirrhotic liver.

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