Laparoscopic Liver Resection May Beat Open Surgery

Long-term survival is at least comparable, and rate of complications is lower

THURSDAY, Nov. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Laparoscopic liver resection for malignant tumors appears to result in fewer complications than open surgery and is associated with at least comparable long-term survival, according to research published in the November issue of the Archives of Surgery.

Kris P. Croome, M.D., and Michael H. Yamashita, M.D., of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, conducted a meta-analysis of studies comparing laparoscopic hepatic resection (LHR) with open hepatic resection (OHR) for benign and malignant tumors to evaluate long-term outcomes.

In the 26 relevant studies, the researchers found that patients operated on laparoscopically for malignant tumors had a significantly lower hazard ratio for death, less operative blood loss, and a lower risk for postoperative complications. Laparoscopy patients also had significantly shorter hospital stays, duration of intravenous narcotic use, and less time until oral intake. There was no significant difference in recurrence for malignant tumors between laparoscopy patients and those who received an open resection.

"LHR for malignant tumors is associated with a long-term survival that is at least comparable, if not superior, to OHR with no difference in disease recurrence. The use of LHR for benign and malignant tumors is a safe alternative to OHR with potential operative and postoperative benefits," the authors write.

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