Background: Hepatic tumors in the lower edge and lateral segments are commonly treated by laparoscopic liver resection. Tumors in the anterosuperior and posterior segments are often large and locally invasive, and resection is associated with a higher risk of insufficient surgical margins, massive intraoperative bleeding, and breaching of the tumor. Laparoscopic surgery for such tumors often involves major hepatectomy, including resection of a large volume of normal liver tissue. We developed a novel method of laparoscopic resection of tumors in these segments with the patient in the semiprone position, using a dual-handling technique with an intercostal transthoracic port. The aim of this study was to evaluate the safety and usefulness of our technique. Methods: Of 160 patients who underwent laparoscopic liver resection at our center from June 2008 to May 2013, we retrospectively reviewed those with tumors in the anterosuperior and posterior segments. Patients were placed supine or semilateral during surgery until January 2010 and semiprone from February 2010. Results: Before the introduction of the semiprone position in February 2010, a total of 7 of 40 patients (17.5%) with tumors in the anterosuperior and posterior segments underwent laparoscopic liver resection, and after introduction of the semiprone position, 69 of 120 patients (57.5%) with tumors in the anterosuperior and posterior segments underwent laparoscopic liver resection (P < 0.001). There were no conversions to open surgery, reoperations, or deaths. The semiprone group had a significantly higher proportion of patients who underwent partial resection or segmentectomy of S7 or S8, lower intraoperative blood loss, and shorter hospital stay than the supine group (all P < 0.05). Postoperative complication rates were similar between groups. Conclusions: Laparoscopic liver resection in the semiprone position is safe and increases the number of patients who can be treated by laparoscopic surgery without increasing the frequency of major hepatectomy.
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