Author(s): Weber JC, Navarra G, Jiao LR, Nicholls JP, Jensen SL
OBJECTIVE: To assess a new bloodless technique using radiofrequency energy for segmental liver resection of hepatic tumors.
SUMMARY BACKGROUND DATA: Liver resection remains a formidable surgical procedure; safe performance requires a high level of training and skill. Intraoperative blood loss during liver resection remains a major concern because it is associated with a higher rate of postoperative complications and shorter long-term survival.
METHODS: From January 2000 to June 2001, 15 patients with various hepatic tumors were operated on using radiofrequency energy to remove the tumor in its entirety. Radiofrequency energy was applied along the margins of the tumor to create "zones of necrosis" before resection with a scalpel. RESULTS: No blood transfusions were required. The mean blood loss during resection was 30 +/- 10 mL. No mortality or morbidity was observed. The median postoperative stay was 8 days (range 5-9). No liver recurrence was detected in patients undergoing resection with this technique during follow-up periods ranging from 2 to 20 months.
CONCLUSIONS: Segmental and wedge liver resection assisted by radiofrequency is safe. This novel technique offers a new method for transfusion-free resection.