Initial experience of surgical microwave tissue precoagulation in liver resection for hepatocellular carcinoma in cirrhotic liver

J Egypt Soc Parasitol. 2014 Aug;44(2):343-50. doi: 10.12816/0006472.


Surgical hepatic resection has been considered as the first-line treatment which is most effective and radical treatment for HCC, however, HCC is usually associated with poor liver function owing to chronic hepatitis or liver cirrhosis. Techniques that can eradicate the tumor and also preserve liver function are needed. Moreover, hepatic resection, in the presence of cirrhosis, raises special problem of high risk as hemorrhage and liver failure, thus, good clinical results can only be achieved by minimizing operative blood loss, time of the intervention as well as the hepatic reserve. The tremendous progress in microwave technology has recently attracted considerable attention. This study evaluated the feasibility of this new liver transection technique demonstrating the high performance of this procedure, the accuracy in terms of squeeze effect on veins and portal branch and in terms of reducing the intra operative blood loss, and minimizing the operative time for safe hepatectomy. Twenty-six consecutive patients a first-time diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) on top of liver cirrhosis were recruited for the study, from August 2011 to January 2013. All patients were subjected to full clinical examination, laboratory investigations, abdomen ultrasound (U/S), triphasic computed tomographic liver scan (CT) and dynamic magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in some doubtful cases. Inclusion requirements were presence of resectable disease without vascular invasion or extrahepatic spread at imaging, Child-Pugh class A & B (Score 7) liver cirrhosis, (INR) < 1.6 or platelet count) 60 000/mm3 with no previous treatment. Patients were treated by applying pre-coagulation of the liver transection lines using microwave probe positioned in parallel to the line of resection by open approach after intra-operative U/S assessment for localization of the tumor and line of resection. The procedures were performed under general anesthesia. Mobilization of the liver was not necessary to be done in all cases. Intra-operative ultrasound (Aloka, Tokyo, Japan) was used to exclude lesions not detected pre-operatively (operative surprise), to define the location, number and size of the tumor and to identify large intra-hepatic large vascular and biliary structures, and guide insertion of the microwave applicator. Intraoperative ultrasound was used again, to assess that the line of resection was done. Primary endpoints documented were total operative time, time for liver parenchyma transection, intraoperative blood loss and blood transfusion requirements. Secondary endpoints included postoperative complications, mortality and intensive care unit (ICU) together with hospital stay.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / complications
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / surgery*
  • Female
  • Hepatectomy / methods*
  • Humans
  • Liver / pathology
  • Liver / surgery*
  • Liver Cirrhosis / complications*
  • Liver Neoplasms / complications
  • Liver Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Male
  • Microwaves*
  • Middle Aged