This systematic review was undertaken to assess the published evidence for the safety, feasibility and reproducibility of laparoscopic liver resection. A computerized search of the Medline and Embase databases identified 28 non-duplicated studies including 703 patients in whom laparoscopic hepatectomy was attempted. Pooled data were examined for information on the patients, lesions, complications and outcome. The most common procedures were wedge resection (35.1%), segmentectomy (21.7%) and left lateral segmentectomy (20.9%). Formal right hepatectomy constituted less than 4% of the reported resections. The conversion and complication rates were 8.1% and 17.6%, respectively. The mortality rate over all these studies was 0.8% and the median (range) hospital stay 7.8 days (2-15.3 days). Eight case-control studies were analysed and although some identified significant reductions in-hospital stay, time to first ambulation after surgery and blood loss, none showed a reduction in complication or mortality rate for laparoscopically carried out resections. It is clear that certain types of laparoscopic resection are feasible and safe when carried out by appropriately skilled surgeons. Further work is needed to determine whether these conclusions can be generalized to include formal right hepatectomy.
- Liver resection