Patient outcome and the development of major intra-abdominal postoperative complications following removal of cavernous hemangiomas of the liver are affected by methods of resection.
Hepatobiliary surgery and liver transplantation unit in a tertiary care referral medical center.
Between December 1, 1987, and December 1, 1997, 28 patients underwent the surgical removal of cavernous hemangioma either by hepatic resection or enucleation. Indications for the operation were pain, enlarging tumors, uncertain diagnosis, or rupture.
Main Outcome Measures
The technique of tumor removal, hospital course, and the development of intra-abdominal complications. Independent factors influencing the development of complications were ascertained by multivariate analysis.
Twenty-four female and 4 male patients (age, 47.5±12.4 [mean±SD] years) underwent either enucleation (n=23) or liver resection (n=5). Lesions ranged from 2 to 16 cm in their postresection diameter. No surgical (30-day) mortality was observed. Four major intra-abdominal complications were found: 1 episode of intraoperative bleeding requiring abdominal packing and 3 intra-abdominal fluid collections requiring percutaneous drainage. Enucleation was the only independent factor found by univariate and multivariate analyses to be associated with a reduction in the number of intra-abdominal complications (P=.04).
Cavernous hemangiomas of the liver can be removed safely by either hepatic resection or enucleation. Enucleation is associated with fewer intra-abdominal complications and should be the technique of choice when tumor location and technical factors favor enucleation.