Background: Hepatectomy for cirrhotic patients with hypersplenism is a high-risk operative procedure. We report herein a new strategy for high-risk patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Methods: Six cirrhotic patients with HCC and hypersplenism received a partial hepatectomy after first undergoing a laparoscopic splenectomy. We then compared the variables for these patients before splenectomy and before hepatectomy. Results: The platelet count and the white blood cell count were found to be significantly elevated before hepatectomy. The ammonia value decreased significantly before hepatectomy. The albumin value tended to be elevated before hepatectomy. Furthermore, the Child's classification of all patients improved significantly before hepatectomy. However, other variables-such as the indocyanine green dye excretion test at 15 min and the bilirubin value-did not change after splenectomy. For hepatectomy patients who first underwent a laparoscopic splenectomy, operation time ranged from 265 to 440 min (average time, 361 min), and blood loss ranged from 500 to 2,200 ml (median volume, 1,300 ml). Four of six patients did not require any blood transfusion; furthermore, no patient needed a platelet-rich plasma transfusion. All but one patient, who suffered postoperatively from an intractable duodenal ulcer, had an uneventful postoperative course. Conclusion: Partial hepatectomy after an initial laparoscopic splenectomy is a new and effective choice of treatment for cirrhotic patients with HCC and hypersplenism.
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