European Journal of Surgical Oncology vol:33 issue:5 pages:603-7
AIMS: Surgical radiofrequency ablation (RFA) of hepatic malignancies is associated with superior oncological outcome as compared to percutaneous RFA. The aim of this prospective non-randomized cohort study was to compare morbidity and mortality of laparoscopic (LRFA) vs. open (ORFA) radiofrequency ablation of liver cancer. METHODS: Between October 1999 and November 2006, RFA was performed in 154 consecutive patients (percutaneous 12, LRFA 93, ORFA 49) for a total of 291 hepatic tumours (HCC 81, colorectal metastases 157, other 53). Seventy-four patients simultaneously underwent additional surgery. Laparoscopic RFA was performed in 45/54 patients with HCC, and in 44/54 patients with cirrhosis. Laparotomy was performed in 14/22 patients who underwent simultaneous colorectal resection, and in 12/22 patients with hepatic resection. RESULTS: Postoperative complications occurred in 25 patients with subsequent mortality in 2. As compared with LRFA, ORFA was associated with significantly (p<0.01) higher intra-operative blood loss (median 20 (range 0-1700) vs. 10 (0-900) ml), longer duration of surgery (180 (25-440) vs. 75 (30-390) min), more postoperative complications (17 vs. 8), and longer postoperative hospital stay (8 (1-127) vs. 4 (1-51) d). According to the therapy-oriented severity grading system (TOSGS) classification, postoperative complications in the ORFA-group were more severe than those in the LRFA-group (p<0.01). These findings were consistent in patients without simultaneous colorectal and/or hepatic resection and in patients with liver tumours measuring 3cm or less. In univariate analysis the following factors were significantly (p<0.01) related to the presence of postoperative complications: simultaneous colorectal resection, laparotomy, duration of surgery, tumour location in right liver, liver segment 7 (p=0.01), absence of cirrhosis (p=0.02), liver segment 8 (p=0.03), and metastatic liver cancer (p=0.04). CONCLUSION: LRFA for hepatic malignancies seems preferable above ORFA, provided good patient selection, surgical expertise, and long-term oncological control.