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A Journal on Surgery

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Minerva Chirurgica 2003 April;58(2):223-30

language: Italian

The role of surgery in the treatment of hepatic metastases from colorectal cancer

Bertolaccini L.


Colorectal neoplasms are a common and frequently fatal illness. Presence of distance metastases from colorectal neoplasm does not preclude therapeutic treatments. Surgical resection is the standard treatment for hepatic colorectal metastasis. Some good results in hepatic metastasectomy are due to the progress of radiology which allows not only early findings of metastatic pathology but defines a surgical technique planning. Patients who are candidates for surgical resection are those with no extrahepatic pathology, resectable hepatic metastases with 1 cm of disease free margin and adequate residual parenchyma. Recurren-ces are shown in two thirds of surgical patients; this suggests that microscopic pathology persists commonly even after resection and that adjuvant therapy is critical. In recent years, many palliative techniques for hepatic cancers have been developed. Potentially useful role of these techniques is ablation of small lesions in patients with contraindications to hepatic resection, small recurrences not resectable, and not resectable neoplasms diffuse in both lobes. Accurate follow-up is essential after hepatic metastasectomy. In conclusion, patients with hepatic potentially resectable colorectal metastases should be evaluated by an expert surgeon, because better long-term outcome is derived from surgical resection.

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