Vanderbilt experience with cryosurgery for 25 advanced hepatic tumors.

F. F. Haddad, J. K. Wright, T. K. Blair, W. C. Chapman, C. W. Pinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


There are reports that suggest cryosurgical techniques may be a useful adjunct or even a viable alternative to surgical resection for hepatobiliary malignancies. Our objective was to evaluate the clinical results following cryoablation in conjunction with surgical resection for advanced hepatic tumors. Cryosurgical techniques were used in 25 consecutive patients with advanced liver tumors (1) to achieve a > 1-cm tumor-free margin when standard surgical margins were close, (2) to manage multiple tumor nodules with or without standard surgical resection, or (3) to increase chemotherapy response rates in conjunction with hepatic arterial portocath placement. In these 25 patients cryoablation was applied to 44 of 91 lesions--independently in four patients and in combination with hepatic resection in 21 patients. Cryoablation was used in seven patients because of close surgical margins. In 18 patients cryosurgery was used for complete lesion ablation. In 14 of the 18 patients cryosurgery and resection were used for different lesions; in four cryosurgery alone was used. Transient changes in hepatic enzymes, PT, PTT, and platelets were at maximum on postoperative days 1 to 3. Surgical mortality and morbidity rates were 4% and 68% respectively. Coagulation abnormalities were common; at least 30% reduction in platelets occurred in all patients and a > 50% reduction occurred in 15 of 25 (60%). Sixteen patients had a PT > 15 sec and five of these 16 also had platelet count < 50,000. Associated complications included one wound hematoma, one GI hemorrhage, one intracranial hemorrhage, and one hepatic hemorrhage from the cryosurgical site. 96%, 66%, 49%, 35%, and 20% of patients were surviving respectively at 6, 12, 18, 24, and 36 months. This report helps define the risks and results of cryosurgical ablation in conjunction with surgical resection for very advanced hepatobiliary tumors. Management of lesions contiguous to major blood vessels can include the Pringle maneuver or total hepatic vascular isolation. Cryoablation can be applied carefully as a complement to resection to achieve total tumor ablation in selected otherwise unresectable patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)357-360
Number of pages4
JournalTennessee medicine : journal of the Tennessee Medical Association
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1998


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