Recent decades have witnessed an increase in liver resections. There is a need for an update on factors related to the management of liver tumors in view of newer published data. A systematic search using Medline, Embase, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials for the years 1983-2008 was performed. The IHPBA classification provides a suitable nomenclature of liver resections. While one randomized trial has provided an objective time of 30 min as optimal for intermittent pedicle occlusion, another randomized study has demonstrated the feasibility of performing liver resections without pedicle clamping. A randomized trial has demonstrated the benefit of clamp crushing over newer techniques of liver transection. Cohort studies support anatomical resections when feasible in terms of outcomes. Nonrandomized studies also support nonanatomical and ablative therapies in patients with cirrhosis and small remnant livers. A randomized trial has shown comparable long-term outcomes of radiofrequency ablation (RFA) and surgery for tumors 5 cm. No randomized trials comparing laparoscopy and open surgery exist. Surgery remains an important treatment modality for malignant hepatic neoplasms. While anatomical resections provide improved survival, the choice of nonanatomical versus anatomical resections should be individualized taking into account factors such as cirrhosis and function of the liver remnant. A clear margin of resection is essential in all surgically resected cases. RFA is emerging as a useful, often complimentary tool, to surgery when dealing with complex tumors or tumors in patients with a poor liver function. Laparoscopic ultrasonography is useful in staging and performance of RFA.
- Hepatocellular carcinoma
- Radiofrequency ablation