Surgical management of hepatocellular carcinoma

Tony C. Y. Pang, Vincent W. T. Lam*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)
382 Downloads (Pure)


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the second most common cause of death from cancer worldwide. Standard potentially curative treatments are either resection or transplantation. The aim of this paper is to provide an overview of the surgical management of HCC, as well as highlight current issues in hepatic resection and transplantation. In summary, due to the relationship between HCC and chronic liver disease, the management of HCC depends both on tumourrelated and hepatic function-related considerations. As such, HCC is currently managed largely through nonsurgical means as the criteria, in relation to the above considerations, for surgical management is still largely restrictive. For early stage tumours, both resection and transplantation offer fairly good survival outcomes (5 years overall survival of around 50%). Selection therefore would depend on the level of hepatic function derangement, organ availability and local expertise. Patients with intermediate stage cancers have limited options, with resection being the only potential for cure. Otherwise, locoregional therapy with transarterial chemoembolization or radiofrequency ablation are viable options. Current issues in resection and transplantation are also briefly discussed such as laparoscopic resection, ablation vs resection, anatomical vs non-anatomical resection, transplantation vs resection, living donor liver transplantation and salvage liver transplantation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-252
Number of pages8
JournalWorld Journal of Hepatology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 27 Feb 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2015. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Laparoscopic liver surgery
  • Liver resection
  • Liver surgery
  • Liver transplantation


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