Background: No reports exist on the role of laparoscopic hepatectomy in the short- and long-term outcomes of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). We present our results from using laparoscopic hepatectomy for HCC and discuss the importance of this procedure. Methods: To investigate the role of laparoscopic hepatectomy in the short- and long-term outcomes, 17 patients with HCC who underwent laparoscopic hepatectomy (laparoscopic hepatectomy group) were compared with 38 patients who underwent conventional open hepatectomy (open hepatectomy group) during the same period. Results: No differences in operation time, blood loss, rate of blood transfusion, or incidence of postoperative complications were found between the two groups. The postoperative hospital stay for the laparoscopic hepatectomy group was significantly shorter than for the open hepatectomy group. With long-term prognosis, no difference was found in survival rate and disease-free survival rate between the two groups. No recurrence was found in the stump of the remaining liver after laparoscopic hepatectomy. Conclusions: Laparoscopic hepatectomy has resulted in a better short-term outcome after surgery than conventional open hepatectomy. The long-term prognosis in the laparoscopic hepatectomy group was similar to that in the open hepatectomy group. Therefore, laparoscopic hepatectomy can be a new alternative for treatment of cirrhotic patients with HCC when patients are strictly selected.
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