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Purpose: to evaluate the usefulness of intraoperative radiofrequency thermoablation of liver tumours in association or not with hepatic resection. Materials and methods: 21 patients were treated between January 1998 and December 2001, there were 4 hepatocellular carcinoma and 17 metastasis. In 13 cases radiofrequency was associated to hepatectomy, in 3 cases to resection of extraepatic disease and in 5 cases were performed alone. 23 lesions were treated by radiofrequency (range 1- 3); the mean dimension was 26 millimetres (range 8-70). A clamping of the liver pedicle was always done.
Results: there were no operative deaths, 3 (14.3%) patients developed complications related to radiofrequency (2 biliary leakages, 1 hepatic abscess). 14 (66.7%) patients were alive after a mean follow up of 14.5 months, 2 of all (9.5%) had a recurrence in the site previously treated with thermoablation. Association between hepatectomy and radiofrequency increased the number of curative liver resections from 10.1% to 16.3% (in case of colorectal metastasis).