Journal of Laparoendoscopic & Advanced Surgical Techniques

Background: The laparoscopic approach to liver resective surgery is slowly spreading to specialized centers. Little is known about factors influencing the immediate postoperative outcome.

Study Design: The purpose of the study was to evaluate the immediate outcome of laparoscopic liver resection (LLR), with particular emphasis on intraoperative bleeding and conversion. A retrospective analysis of demographic, clinical, and surgical data, including conversion, morbidity/mortality, and hospital stay, of the first 100 patients at our institution undergoing LLR from February 1997 through March 2007 was performed.

Results: Indication for LLR was benign lesion in 28 patients, malignancy in 33, and living donation in 39. Seventy-five resections involved two or more segments. Mean blood loss was 120±127.6 mL. One patient (1%) required transfusion. Mean operative time was 253±91.6 minutes. No patient died. Postoperative complications occurred in 21 patients. The conversion rate was 17%. Variables related to conversion were American Society of Anesthesiologists Class II, body mass index, cirrhosis, necessity for the Pringle maneuver, and intraoperative blood loss. Conversion did not influence the operative time. Patients with conversion had more complications and a longer hospital stay.

Conclusions: Liver resection by laparoscopy is feasible and safe, implying low intraoperative blood loss. Not perfect physical conditions, cirrhosis, high body mass index, and, intraoperatively, blood loss and the necessity of a Pringle maneuver should be considered risk factors for conversion. A meticulous dissection by bipolar coagulation, Harmonic® (Ethicon) scalpel, and ultrasound dissector, other than the attitude not to delay conversion in difficult cases, may allow for low blood loss without prolongation of operative time, with a possible, slight increase of the conversion rate.

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