Less morbidity is considered among the advantages of laparoscopic liver resection (LLR) for HCC patients. However, our previous international, multi-institutional, propensity score-based study of emerging laparoscopic repeat liver resection (LRLR) failed to prove this advantage. We hypothesize that these results may be since the study included complex LRLR cases performed during the procedure’s developing stage. To examine it, subgroup analysis based on propensity score were performed, defining the proximity of the tumors to major vessels as the indicator of complex cases. Among 1582 LRLR cases from 42 international high-volume liver surgery centers, 620 cases without the proximity to major vessels (more than 1 cm far from both first–second branches of Glissonian pedicles and major hepatic veins) were selected for this subgroup analysis. A propensity score matching (PSM) analysis was performed based on their patient characteristics, preoperative liver function, tumor characteristics and surgical procedures. One hundred and fifteen of each patient groups of LRLR and open repeat liver resection (ORLR) were earned, and the outcomes were compared. Backgrounds were well-balanced between LRLR and ORLR groups after matching. With comparable operation time and long-term outcome, less blood loss (283.3±823.0 vs. 603.5±664.9 mL, p = 0.001) and less morbidity (8.7 vs. 18.3 %, p = 0.034) were shown in LRLR group than ORLR. Even in its worldwide developing stage, LRLR for HCC patients could be beneficial in blood loss and morbidity for the patients with less complexity in surgery.
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