Background: Less invasiveness is an important consideration for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) especially in patients with severe cirrhosis. Methods: Between April 2000 and September 2016, 100 patients with liver damage B underwent multimodal radiofrequency ablation (RFA; n = 62) or laparoscopic hepatic resection (Lap-HR; n = 38) for primary HCC as defined by the Milan criteria. We compared the operative outcomes and patients’ survival between the two groups. Results: The RFA group showed worse liver functions as indicated by indocyanine green retention rate (32.9 vs. 22.4%; p < 0.0001) and serum albumin value (3.3 vs. 3.6 g/dl; p = 0.0029). As expected, RFA was less invasive, as indicated by the differences in operation time (166 vs. 288 min.; p < 0.0001) and blood loss (8 vs. 377 g; p < 0.0001). There was no significant difference in the morbidity rate between the two groups; however, the duration of hospital stay of the RFA group was significantly shorter (7 vs. 11 days; p = 0.0002). There were no significant between-group differences regarding overall or disease-free survival. Conclusion: Multimodal RFA for HCC in patients with severe cirrhosis is associated with less invasiveness and shorter hospital stays, with no compromise in the patients’ survival. In patients with severe cirrhosis, it may be time to consider changing the standard treatment for primary HCC within the Milan criteria to multimodal RFA.
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