Background/purpose: Although laparoscopic liver resection (LLR) is a common surgical procedure for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), its suitability for large HCCs (≥5 cm) remains controversial. This study compared surgical outcomes of open hepatectomy with LLR for large HCCs. Methods: A total of 313 patients with HCC who underwent hepatectomy between January 2010 and June 2017 were analyzed retrospectively. Demographic data, short-term outcomes, and long-term survivals were analyzed. Results: Among patients with large HCCs (n = 122), the open group (n = 85) had larger tumor sizes (10.91 ± 4.72 vs. 7.45 ± 2.95 cm; p < 0.001) and more advanced stages (stages 3/4: 71.8% vs. 45.9%; p = 0.029) than the LLR group (n = 37), while LLR group achieved less blood loss (623.24 ± 841.75 mL vs. 1091.76 ± 1004.72 mL, p = 0.014) and shorter LOS (9.00 ± 5.13 d vs. 12.82 ± 8.51 d, p = 0.013). There were no significant differences in complication and mortality rates between groups. The 5-year overall and recurrence-free survival rates between the two groups were not significantly different (p = 0.408 and 0.644 respectively). The surgical outcomes showed equal benefit of the two operation types. Conclusion: With sufficient surgeon experience and appropriate patient selection, LLR is a feasible treatment choice for large HCCs.
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