We evaluated in retrospect the applicability of limited hepatic resection in cases of primary liver cancer in cirrhotic patients. According to the severity of impaired liver function, 37 patients underwent limited resection, and for 13, standard major hepatic resection was done. The mortality rate in case of limited resection was 10.8%, and the rate in case of massive excision was 15.4%. One, two- and five-year survival rates of limited operation were 79.9, 60.3, and 32.6%, respectively. After standard resection, the rates were 78.7, 67.5, and 22.5%, respectively. There were no significant differences in the mortality and survival rates between the two groups. These results indicate that, for the patient with a small liver cancer, and poor liver function, the limited procedure leads to a comparatively longer survival. This limited resection can be selectively used to treat cancer associated with cirrhosis and encapsulated tumors. For the preoperative evaluation, hepatic arteriograms aid in patient selection.