, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 1203-1215
Date: 26 Oct 2012

Short- and Long-term Outcomes after Laparoscopic and Open Hepatectomy for Hepatocellular Carcinoma: A Global Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

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Laparoscopic hepatectomy (LH) has been proposed as a safe and feasible treatment option for liver diseases. However, the short- and long-term outcomes of LH versus open hepatectomy (OH) for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) have not been adequately assessed. Thus, as another means of surgical therapy for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), we assessed the feasibility of performing LH as the standard procedure for disease in the left lateral lobe and peripheral right segments for HCC in selected patients.


Literature search included PubMed, Embase, Science Citation Index, SpringerLink, and secondary sources, from inception to March 2012, with no restrictions on languages or regions. The fixed-effects and random-effects models were used to measure the pooled estimates. The test of heterogeneity was performed by the Q statistic. Subgroup and sensitivity analyses were performed to explore heterogeneity between studies and to assess the effects of study quality.


A total of 1238 patients (LH 485, OH 753) from 15 studies were included. The pooled odds ratios for postoperative morbidity and incidence of negative surgical margin in LH were found to be 0.37 (95 % confidence interval [CI] 0.27–0.52; P < 0.01) and 1.63 (95 % CI 0.82–3.22; P = 0.16), respectively, compared with OH. Blood loss was significantly decreased in the LH (weighted mean difference −224.63; 95 % CI −384.87 to −64.39; P = 0.006). No significant difference was observed between the both groups for long-term outcomes of overall survival and recurrence-free survival.


In patients with solitary left lateral lobe/right peripheral subcapsular tumors treated with minor resection, this meta-analysis demonstrated that compared to OH, LH may have short-term advantages in terms of blood loss and postoperative morbidity for HCC. Both procedures have similar long-term outcomes. It may be time to consider changing the standard procedures for treatment of HCC in the left lateral lobe and peripheral subcapsular right segments in selected patients.

The first two authors contributed equally to this article, and both should be considered first author.