The current role of laparoscopic liver resection for the treatment of liver tumors

Carlo Pulitanò, Luca Aldrighetti

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Laparoscopic liver resection (LLR) represents a natural extension of minimally invasive surgery. Several case-control studies have demonstrated that LLR is safe and feasible in carefully selected patients. LLR is associated with reduced operative blood loss and earlier recovery when compared with open surgery. In addition, oncologic clearance achieved with LLR is comparable to that achieved with open surgery. Improved cosmesis and postoperative patient comfort also argue in favor of LLR compared with open surgery. When considering whether a patient is suitable for LLR, the size and location of the neoplasm must be taken into account. Operator experience must also be considered as LLR is technically demanding and requires experience in conventional hepatobiliary surgery and advanced laparoscopy. The main indication for LLR is limited resection of superficial or peripherally located tumors. In the case of malignant tumors, LLR should be indicated only if a safe and effective oncologic resection can be performed, and the availability of laparoscopy should not change the indications for benign lesions. Ultimately, the future application of LLR will depend on how easily liver surgeons can master the technique and whether the long-term results of LLR can match those achieved with open resection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)648-654
Number of pages7
JournalNature Clinical Practice Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2008


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Hepatology

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