Fibrolamellar carcinoma (FLC) is a tumor of the liver that can be differentiated from common hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Despite the exceptional role of the clinicopathologic signs and symptoms, true appraisal of the prognosis of the tumor is not clear and remains a controversial issue. To determine the long term prognosis of FLC more precisely, a retrospective study of 20 consecutive patients was performed, with analysis of selected pathologic factors, particularly the TNM staging system. Curative tumor removal (R0) was achieved by partial hepatic resection in 14 patients and total hepatectomy with subsequent replacement of the liver in six patients, respectively. The estimated overall five year survival rate was 36.6 percent. There was an advantage of partial versus total hepatectomy, with median survival times of 44.5 versus 28.5 months. Statistically significant better survival rates at five years were observed in patients with solitary tumors and in instances of absent regional lymph node metastases. Although other factors analyzed did not show significant differences, there was a tendency indicating individual tumor stage was the most significant determinant for prognosis. For further discussion of an apparently more favorable outcome of patients with FLC as compared with common HCC, detailed specification of the tumor stages seems mandatory. From the present analysis, the fibrolamellar variant could not be confirmed to be an independent indicator of better patient survival. The treatment of choice remains radical operation. The goal can, at best, be achieved by a therapeutic concept including partial as well as total hepatectomy, depending on the stage of the tumor.