The learning curve of laparoscopic liver resection after the Louisville statement 2008: Will it be more effective and smooth?
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Laparoscopic liver resection (LLR) has been proven to be feasible and safe. However, it is a difficult and complex procedure with a steep learning curve. The aim of this study was to evaluate the learning curve of LLR at our institutions since 2008.
One hundred and twenty-six consecutive LLRs were included from May 2008 to December 2014. Patient characteristics, operative data, and surgical outcomes were collected prospectively and analyzed.
The median tumor size was 25 mm (range 5–90 mm), and 96 % of the resected tumors were malignant. 41.3 % (52/126) of patients had pathologically proven liver cirrhosis. The median operation time was 216 min (range 40–602 min) with a median blood loss of 100 ml (range 20–2300 ml). The median length of hospital stay was 4 days (range 2–10 days). Six major postoperative complications occurred in this series, and there was no 90-day postoperative mortality. Regarding the incidence of major operative events including operation time longer than 300 min, perioperative blood loss above 500 ml, and major postoperative complications, the learning curve [as evaluated by the cumulative sum (CUSUM) technique] showed its first reverse after 22 cases. The indication of laparoscopic resection in this series extended after 60 cases to include tumors located in difficult locations (segments 4a, 7, 8) and major hepatectomy. CUSUM showed that the incidence of major operative events proceeded to increase again, and the second reverse was noted after an additional 40 cases of experience. Location of the tumor in a difficult area emerged as a significant predictor of major operative events.
In carefully selected patients, CUSUM analysis showed 22 cases were needed to overcome the learning curve for minor LLR.
KeywordsLaparoscopic Liver resection Hepatectomy Hepatocellular carcinoma Learning curve
Compliance with ethical standards
Drs. Chung-Wei Lin, Tzu-Jung Tsai, Tsung-Yen Cheng, Hung-Kuang Wei, Chen-Fang Hung, Yin-Yin Chen, and Chii-Ming Chen have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose.
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