Laparoscopic left hepatectomy for mucinous cystic neoplasm of the liver



Among liver cystic lesions, mucinous cystic neoplasm of the liver (MCN-L) constitutes a challenging issue in terms of management: preoperative diagnosis is often unachievable and this may mislead to inappropriate treatment [1,2,3]. We present the case of an otherwise healthy 29-year-old female who underwent laparotomic cyst unroofing in segment 4 and cholecystectomy in another institution. Post-operative course was complicated by biliary leakage that was endoscopically treated. Short term follow-up showed early recurrence with a volumetric enlargement of the cyst occupying most of the left hepatic lobe and new satellite cyst in Sg5. The doubt of MCN-L arose, and the patient was scheduled for laparoscopic removal at our Centre, despite the previous laparotomic procedure.


An optic port was placed into right upper abdominal quadrant and 3 further ports were placed. A long and difficult adhesiolysis was performed and Pringle’s manoeuver was settled. Intraoperative US confirmed the anatomic limits of the cysts in Sg5 and in the left hepatic lobe. The cyst on Sg5 was resected first and frozen section was suspicious for MCN-L. In order to prevent recurrence, left laparoscopic hepatectomy was performed. The specimen was extracted through the previous midline laparotomy.


Post-operative course was uneventful and the patient was discharged on POD 5. Pathology and immunochemistry confirmed the diagnosis of MCN-L.


Hepatic cystic lesions may be insidious and preoperative biopsy is not always possible due to lack of solid tissue. In unclear settings, an intraoperative frozen section is mandatory to guide intraoperative decisions. In the suspicion of malignancy, resection with oncologic criteria must be chosen as the most appropriate treatment, as well as the retrieving of MCN-L requires hepatic resection to avoid early recurrence [4, 5]. Despite of previous laparotomy, we consider a laparoscopic approach could be attempted in selected cases, in institution with particular expertise in laparoscopic liver surgery.

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Correspondence to Nazareno Smerieri.

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Smerieri, N., Fiorentini, G., Ratti, F. et al. Laparoscopic left hepatectomy for mucinous cystic neoplasm of the liver. Surg Endosc 32, 1068–1069 (2018).

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  • Laparoscopic liver surgery
  • Mucinous cystic neoplasm