Recurrent hepatocellular carcinoma successfully treated with laparoscopic thermal ablation

Roberto Santambrogio, Mara Costa, Matteo Barabino, Massimo Zuin, Emanuela Bertolini, Francesca De Filippi, Savino Bruno, Enrico Opocher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Aggressive treatment of intrahepatic recurrence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) increases patients' survival. This study aimed to evaluate laparoscopic thermal ablation (TA) in the treatment of intrahepatic HCC recurrences. Methods A retrospective analysis was performed on 88 patients (REC group) who underwent laparoscopic TA after prior TA (66 patients.) or partial hepatic resection (HR) (22 patients) as initial local treatment. Another 170 patients with primary HCC tumors (PRIM group) were regarded as the control group. Results The postoperative morbidity rates were similar for the patients with prior TA (18%) and those with prior HR (21%) (nonsignificant difference [NS]). The overall survival rates were not significantly different between the two groups (3-year survival rates of 59 and 78%, respectively; P = 0.1662). Moreover, the disease-free survival (DFS) rates did not differ significantly between the patients with prior TA and those with prior HR (3-year DFS of 21 and 8%, respectively; P = 0.1911). The incidences of morbidity in the whole REC (21%) and PRIM (20%) groups were similar (P = NS), and no mortality occurred in either group (0%). The cumulative 3-year survival rate was 63% in the REC group and 59% in the PRIM group (P = 0.5739), whereas the 3-year DFS rate was 17% in the REC group and 22% in the PRIM group (P = 0.5266). Conclusion Laparoscopic TA can be performed safely and may be effective for intrahepatic HCC recurrence after prior TA or HR. It leads to survival and DFS rates similar to those obtained using laparoscopic TA for primary HCC without increasing morbidity. Laparoscopic TA could be proposed as first-line treatment of intrahepatic HCC recurrence for selected patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1108-1115
Number of pages8
JournalSurgical Endoscopy and Other Interventional Techniques
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012


  • Hepatic resection
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Laparoscopic ultrasound
  • Liver cirrhosis
  • Thermal ablation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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