The aims of this study were to evaluate the efficacy of repeat hepatectomy (Hx) and salvage living donor liver transplantation (LDLT) for recurrent hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). A retrospective cohort study was performed to analyze the surgical results of repeat Hx and salvage LDLT for patients with recurrent HCC within the Milan criteria from 1989 to 2012. A total of 159 patients were divided into 2 groups: a repeat Hx group (nâ€‰=â€‰146) and a salvage LDLT group (nâ€‰=â€‰13). Operative results and patient prognoses were compared between the 2 groups. The operative invasiveness, including the operation time (229.1â€‰±â€‰97.7 versus 862.9â€‰±â€‰194.4 minutes; Pâ€‰<â€‰0.0001) and blood loss (596.3â€‰±â€‰764.9 versus 24,690â€‰±â€‰59,014.4 g; Pâ€‰<â€‰0.0001), were significantly higher in the salvage LDLT group. The early surgical results, such as morbidity (31% versus 62%; Pâ€‰=â€‰0.0111) and the duration of hospital stay (20â€‰±â€‰22 versus 35â€‰±â€‰21 days; Pâ€‰=â€‰0.0180), were significantly worse in the salvage LDLT group. There was no significant difference in the overall survival (OS) rate, but the disease-free survival rate of the salvage LDLT group was significantly better (Pâ€‰=â€‰0.0002). The OS rate of patients with grade B liver damage in the repeat Hx group was significantly worse (Pâ€‰<â€‰0.0001), and the 5-year OS rate was quite low, that is, 20% (liver damage A, 77% for the repeat Hx group and 75% for the salvage LDLT group). The prognosis of patients with grade B liver damage after repeat Hx for recurrent HCC is poor, and salvage LDLT would be a potent option for such patients.
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