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Original article

Vol. 151 No. 0304 (2021)

Laparoscopic liver resection: a single-centre experience

  • Michele Ghielmetti
  • Michaela Ramser
  • Daniel Oertli
Cite this as:
Swiss Med Wkly. 2021;151:w20391



The past 25 years have seen the increased use of minimally invasive surgery. The development of these techniques has impacted the domain of liver surgery. This study aimed to describe the safety, feasibility, benefits and results of laparoscopic liver resection in a single tertiary care centre.


We reviewed the medical records of all patients who underwent liver surgery between January 2005 and December 2016 at the University Hospital of Basel. We selected all liver resections performed by laparoscopic surgery. To evaluate the results of the laparoscopic liver surgery, we chose the following data: the conversion rate from laparoscopy to open surgery, the median operating time, postoperative complications, the median length of stay following surgery and the median surgical margin in patients with malignant lesions.


Of the 274 liver operations, 201 (73%) were performed by open surgery and 73 (27%) by laparoscopy. Sixty-nine laparoscopic liver resections were included in this study. The selected laparoscopic liver resections were performed in 65 patients: 38 men and 27 women. The median age was 59 (range 29–85) years. Forty resections were performed for malignant lesions and 29 (42%) for benign diseases. The median operating time was 112 (range 50–247) minutes. The conversion rate was 19%. The most common cause for conversion was bleeding (69% of all conversions, 13% of all patients). Postoperative complications occurred in 15 patients (22%). The median hospitalisation time was 7.1 (range 2–23) days. Thirty-two patients (46.5% of all patients) had hepatocellular carcinoma. The mean tumour size was 25.6 (range 5–55) mm. The median surgical margin was 9 mm.


This study showed that in our centre laparoscopic liver surgery is a safe and effective treatment option for both benign and malignant liver lesions.


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