, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 310-314
Date: 12 Mar 2009

Laparoscopic liver resection facilitates salvage liver transplantation for hepatocellular carcinoma

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In patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), a previous liver resection (LR) may compromise subsequent liver transplantation (LT) by creating adhesions and increasing surgical difficulty. Initial laparoscopic LR (LLR) may reduce such technical consequences, but its effect on subsequent LT has not been reported. We report the operative results of LT after laparoscopic or open liver resection (OLR).


Twenty-four LT were performed, 12 following prior LLR and 12 following prior OLR. The LT was performed using preservation of the inferior vein cava. Indication for the LT was recurrent HCC in 19 cases (salvage LT), while five patients were listed for LT and underwent resection as a neoadjuvant procedure (bridge resection).


In the LLR group, absence of adhesions was associated with straightforward access to the liver in all cases. In the OLR group, 11 patients required long and hemorrhagic dissection. Median durations of the hepatectomy phase and whole LT were 2.5 and 6.2 h, and 4.5 and 8.3 h in the LLR and OLR groups, respectively (P < 0.05). Median blood loss was 1200 ml and 2300 ml in the LLR and OLR groups, respectively (P < 0.05). Median transfusions of hepatectomy phase and whole LT were 0 and 3 U, and 2 and 6 U, respectively (P < 0.05). There were no postoperative deaths.


In our study, LLR facilitated the LT procedure as compared with OLR in terms of reduced operative time, blood loss and transfusion requirements. We conclude that LLR should be preferred over OLR when feasible in potential transplant candidates.