Background Liver transection is considered a critical factor influencing intra-operative blood loss. A increase in the number of complex liver resections has determined a growing interest in new devices able to 'optimize' the liver transection. The aim of this randomized controlled study was to compare a radiofrequency vessel-sealing system with the 'gold-standard' clamp-crushing technique. Methods From January to December 2012, 100 consecutive patients undergoing a liver resection were randomized to the radiofrequency vessel-sealing system (LF1212 group; N = 50) or to the clamp-crushing technique (Kelly group, N = 50). Results Background characteristics of the two groups were similar. There were not significant differences between the two groups in terms of blood loss, transection time and transection speed. In spite of a not-significant larger transection area in the LF1212 group compared with the Kelly group (51.5 versus 39 cm2, P = 0.116), the overall and 'per cm2' blood losses were similar whereas the transection speed was better (even if not significantly) in the LF1212 group compared with the Kelly group (1.1 cm2/min versus 0.8, P = 0.089). Mortality, morbidity and bile leak rates were similar in both groups. Conclusions The radiofrequency vessel-sealing system allows a quick and safe liver transection similar to the gold-standard clamp-crushing technique.
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