The use of minimally invasive procedures has revolutionized modern surgery. Only recently has laparoscopy been introduced for use in hepatic surgery. Patient demographics, tumor characteristics, and outcomes were evaluated for all initial cases of laparoscopic hepatic resection. Twenty-one resections were performed in 17 patients; 5 were performed for malignancy, of which 3 had underlying cirrhosis, and the remaining 12 for benign symptomatic disease. Mean patient age was 55.4 (range, 24-82 years). The mean number of lesions was 1.4 (range, 1-5), having an average size of 7.6 cm (range, 2-30 cm). Mean operative time was 2.8 hours (range, 2-5 hours) hours. Most resections involved 1 or more Couinaud segments. Mean blood loss was 288 cc (range, 50-150 cc). Complications included re-operation for hemorrhage (n = 2), biliary leakage (n = 1), and death from hepatic failure (n = 1). Mean length of stay was 2.9 days (range, 1-14). When compared with our series of 100 patients who underwent open hepatic resection for benign tumors, significantly greater means (P <. 05) were noted for blood loss (485 cc), operative time (4.5 hours), and length of stay (6.5 days). Laparoscopic hepatic surgery, though complex, can be performed safely and efficaciously. Minimally invasive surgery appears to provide several distinct advantages over traditional open hepatic surgery. However, techniques for the laparoscopic control of bleeding and bile leak remain in their infancy.
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