Surgery of benign and malignant primary liver tumors
Better, noninvasive, diagnostics, better knowledge of anatomy and of surgical techniques have been responsible for a considerable development of liver surgery during recent years. Primary malignant liver tumours can only be cured by resection. The decision for resectional surgery should be based on different tumor characteristics, of whom the nature of the liver tissue (normal or cirrhotic) in which the tumor develops in of utmost importance. A malignant tumor should be resected with save, tumor-free margins, leaving behind as much normal functional parenchyma as possible. The role of complementary therapies as e.g. chemotherapy, chemo-embolisation and arterial ischemia must be further developed. Liver transplantation will probably play a more important role in the future development of liver cancer treatment. Surgery for benign liver tumors can be restricted most of the time to a limited resection; extended hepatectomies are rarely necessary. The more deliberate use of intraoperative ultrasound and hepatic vascular exclusion as well as the more frequent use of ultrasound dissectors will allow safer liver surgery; this applies especially for the excision of benign solid liver tumors. Because of their degenerative risks, liver adenomas should be excised. Focal nodular hyperplasia and haemangioma remain rare indications for surgery. The low morbidity and mortality of elective liver resections should favour a more widespread use of surgery for the treatment of malignant as well benign liver tumors.