Background: The treatment of choice for recurrent hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is repeated resection. However, only a small percentage of patients are suitable for further hepatic resection. The aim of this study was to evaluate the surgical risk and operative outcome of hepatic cryosurgery in patients with recurrent HCC.
Method: A retrospective analysis of patients with recurrent HCC after previous curative hepatectomy treated with cryosurgery. Four patients with recurrent HCC not suitable for further resection, and three of them failed to respond to transarterial chemoembolisation therapy, were enrolled for cryosurgery. Their clinical parameters, operative details and outcomes were studied.
Results: No intra-operative or post-operative complications were noted. The duration of operation ranged from 3 to 5.2 hours and the operative blood loss from 173 to 1300 ml. All patients are still alive with survival after cryosurgery ranging from 12 to 23 months (25 to 63 months after the hepatic resection). Three patients showed evidence of recurrent disease, and one of which was due to inadequate cryoablation. One patient was disease free 14 months after the cryosurgery. Conclusion: Hepatic cryosurgery is a safe therapy for patients with unresectable recurrent HCC.