Background Regret-based decision curve analysis (DCA) is a framework that assesses the medical decision process according to physician attitudes (expected regret) relative to disease-based factors. We sought to apply this methodology to decisions around the operative management of intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC). Methods Utilizing a multicentric database of 799 patients who underwent liver resection for ICC, we developed a prognostic nomogram. DCA tested 3 strategies: (1) perform an operation on all patients, (2) never perform an operation, and (3) use the nomogram to select patients for an operation. Results Four preoperative variables were included in the nomogram: major vascular invasion (HR = 1.36), tumor number (multifocal, HR = 1.18), tumor size (>5 cm, HR = 1.45), and suspicious lymph nodes on imaging (HR = 1.47; all P 5 cm, one suspicious malignant lymph node, and vascular invasion on imaging, the 1-year predicted survival was 52% according to the nomogram. Based on the therapeutic decision of the regret-DCA, 60% of physicians would advise against an operation for this scenario. Conversely, all physicians recommended an operation to a patient with an early ICC (single nodule measuring 3 cm, no suspicious lymph nodes, and no vascular invasion at imaging). Conclusion By integrating a nomogram based on preoperative variables and a regret-based DCA, we were able to define the elements of how decisions rely on medical knowledge (postoperative survival predicted by a nomogram, severity disease assessment) and physician attitudes (regret of commission and omission).