Aim: To evaluate the impact of obesity on the postoperative outcome after hepatic resection in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Methods: Data from 328 consecutive patients with primary HCC and 60 patients with recurrent HCC were studied. We compared the surgical outcomes between the non-obese group (body mass index: BMI < 25 kg/m2) and the obese group (BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2). Results: Following curative hepatectomy in patients with primary HCC, the incidence of postoperative complications and the long-term prognosis in the non-obese group (n = 240) were comparable to those in the obese group (n = 88). Among patients with recurrent HCC, the incidence of postoperative complications after repeat hepatectomy was not significantly different between the non-obese group (n = 44) and the obese group (n = 16). However, patients in the obese group showed a significantly poorer long-term prognosis than those in the non-obese group (P < 0.05, five-year survival rate; 51.9% and 92.0%, respectively). Conclusion: Obesity alone may not have an adverse effect on the surgical outcomes of patients with primary HCC. However, greater caution seems to be required when planning a repeat hepatectomy for obese patients with recurrent HCC.
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