Pure laparoscopic hepatectomy is a less invasive procedure than conventional open hepatectomy for the resection of hepatic lesions. Increases in experiences with the technique, in combination with advances in technology, have promoted the popularity of pure laparoscopic hepatectomy. However, indications for usage and potential contraindications of the procedure remain unresolved. The characteristics and specific advantages of the procedure, especially for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients with chronic liver diseases, are reviewed and discussed in this paper. For cirrhotic patients with liver tumors, pure laparoscopic hepatectomy minimizes destruction of the collateral blood and lymphatic flow from laparotomy and mobilization, and mesenchymal injury from compression. Therefore, pure laparoscopic hepatectomy has the specific advantage of minimal postoperative ascites production that leads to lowering the risk of disturbance in water or electrolyte balance and hypoproteinemia. It minimizes complications that routinely trigger postoperative serious liver failure. Under adequate patient positioning and port arrangement, the partial resection of the liver in the area of subphrenic space, peri-inferior vena cava area or next to the attachment of retro-peritoneum is facilitated in pure laparoscopic surgery by providing good vision and manipulation in the small operative field. Furthermore, the features of reduced post-operative adhesion, good vision, and manipulation within the small area between the adhesions make this procedure safer in the context of repeat hepatectomy procedures. These improved features are especially advantageous for patients with liver cirrhosis and multicentric and/or metachronous HCCs.
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