Background: Despite recent developments in surgery and patient management during the perioperative period, critical complications still developed in a few patients who had hepatic resection for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Study Design: Six hundred twenty-five consecutive patients who had hepatic resection for HCC were reviewed and operative morbidity and mortality rates assessed. Results: There were progressive decreases in the surgical blood loss and the rate of blood transfusion (p = 0.0001). Occurrence of ascites and other complications dramatically decreased in the study series (p = 0.0001). Hospital death rate and incidence of postoperative liver failure also decreased from 2.5%, 1.9% (1985 to 1990), 4.4%, 3.2% (1991 to 1996) to 1.9%, 1.4% (1997 to 2002), respectively. Using multiple logistic regression, independent risk factors associated with postoperative complications were found to be the period of operation (odds ratio [OR] = 0.408; p < 0.0001) and alanine aminotransferase ≥ 70 IU/L (OR = 2.020; p = 0.0009) over the entire period of this study (1985 to 2002), or the platelet count of < 100 × 103/mm3 (OR = 4.654; p = 0.0072) and the presence of blood transfusion during operation (OR = 8.249; p = 0.0230) in 1997 to 2002. Conclusions: In this series, there has been a decline in surgical blood loss and rate of blood transfusion and in the number of patients with major complications. These results are largely attributable to the adequate selection of surgical candidate and factors aimed at reducing surgical blood loss.
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