Transcatheter hepatic arterial embolization and lipiodolization have been reported to be effective palliative treatments for patients with unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma. We experienced 2 patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma which were initially considered to be unresectable due to the extreme extension of the primary lesions. Therefore, transcatheter hepatic arterial embolization with lipiodolization were selected as the treatments of choice. Thereafter, these tumors markedly decreased in size and, as a result, curative resections could subsequently be performed. The pathological examination of the resected specimens revealed necrosis and hyaline degeneration in the main tumors. Viable tumor cells, however, still remained adjacent to the main tumors. Such evidence indicated the limited efficacy of transcatheter hepatic arterial embolization with lipiodolization and the necessity of performing surgical treatment in combination with transcatheter hepatic arterial embolization with lipiodolization. Based on these findings, transcatheter hepatic arterial embolization with lipiodolization both appear to be a good mode of therapy for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma, and in selected patients, subsequent surgery can also be considered.