Annals of Surgical Oncology

, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 257–263 | Cite as

Comparison of Laparoscopic Microwave to Radiofrequency Ablation of Small Hepatocellular Carcinoma (≤3 cm)

  • Roberto Santambrogio
  • Jason Chiang
  • Matteo Barabino
  • Franca Maria Meloni
  • Emanuela Bertolini
  • Fabio Melchiorre
  • Enrico Opocher
Hepatobiliary Tumors



Laparoscopic thermal ablation is a common alternative to surgical resection in treating hepatic tumors, particularly in those located in difficult-to-reach locations.


The aim of this study was to compare the safety and long-term efficacy of laparoscopic radiofrequency ablation (RFA) and microwave ablation (MWA) in treating hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).


From February 2009 to May 2015, data from patients with HCC nodules who had undergone either laparoscopic MWA or laparoscopic RFA were examined. Complications, complete ablation rates, local tumor progression (LTP) rates, and disease-free and cumulative survival rates were compared between the two treatment groups.


A total of 154 patients with HCC (60 MWA and 94 RFA) were treated via the laparoscopic approach. Major complication rates were identified as 1 and 2 % in the RFA and MWA groups, respectively (p = 0.747). Complete ablation rates were 95 % for both treatment groups (p = 0.931), and LTP rates were 21.2 % for RFA and 8.3 % for MWA (p = 0.034). Disease-free survival rates at 5 years were 19 % in the RFA group and 12 % in the MWA group (p = 0.434), while cumulative survival rates at 5 years were 50 % in the RFA group and 37 % in the MWA group (p = 0.185).


Laparoscopic RFA and MWA appear to be safe in the treatment of early-stage HCC. The LTP rates were lower in the laparoscopic MWA group compared with the laparoscopic RFA group, but their respective overall and disease-free survival rates remained similar.


Tace Ablation Zone Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer Cumulative Survival Rate Local Tumor Progression 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Roberto Santambrogio, Jason Chiang, Matteo Barabino, Franca Maria Meloni, Emanuela Bertolini, Fabio Melchiorre, and Enrico Opocher have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose.

Supplementary material

10434_2016_5527_MOESM1_ESM.doc (34 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 34 kb)
10434_2016_5527_MOESM2_ESM.doc (43 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (DOC 43 kb)


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Copyright information

© Society of Surgical Oncology 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roberto Santambrogio
    • 1
  • Jason Chiang
    • 2
  • Matteo Barabino
    • 1
  • Franca Maria Meloni
    • 3
    • 6
  • Emanuela Bertolini
    • 5
  • Fabio Melchiorre
    • 4
  • Enrico Opocher
    • 1
  1. 1.UOC di Chirurgia Epato-bilio-pancreatica e Digestiva, Ospedale San PaoloUniversità di MilanoMilanItaly
  2. 2.Department of RadiologyUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA
  3. 3.Servizio di Radiologia Ecografia InterventisticaOspedale ValduceComoItaly
  4. 4.Servizio di Radiologia Diagnostica ed Interventistica, Ospedale San PaoloUniversità di MilanoMilanItaly
  5. 5.Divisione di Medicina Interna-Epatologia, San Paolo HospitalUniversity of Milan School of MedicineMilanItaly
  6. 6.Servizio di radiologia Interventistica e di Procedure SpecialiCasa di Cura IgeaMilanItaly

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