Background: Two-stage hepatectomy has been proposed for patients with bilateral colorectal liver metastases. The present study assesses the feasibility and outcome of two-stage hepatectomy for the treatment of colorectal liver metastases. Methods: From January 1994 to December 2008, 720 patients underwent liver resections at two institutions for colorectal liver metastases. The feasibility and outcomes of two-staged hepatectomies were evaluated. Results: Forty-five patients were eligible for the two-stage approach and both stages were completed in 35 patients (78%). Reasons for failure included disease progression (n = 7), poor performance status (n = 1) and death after the first stage (n = 2). Patients who completed both stages had significantly fewer lesions than patients who failed to complete the second stage (5 vs. 8; P = 0.02). No differences between the two groups were observed with regard to lesion size, receipt of radiofrequency ablation (RFA) or presence of extrahepatic disease. Post-operative morbidity (24% vs. 26%; P = 0.9) and mortality (4% vs. 5%; P = 0.8) was similar between the first and second stages. Median overall survival was 16 months. Three-year survival was significantly worse for patients failing to complete both stages (18%) compared with patients completing both stages (58%) (P<0.001). Similar survival rates were observed between patients who completed two-stage vs. patients treated with a planned single-stage hepatectomy (58% vs. 53%; P = 0.34). Conclusion: The two-stage strategy for colorectal liver metastases can be performed with acceptable morbidity and mortality. The second stage will not be feasible in 20-25% of patients. Patients who are able to complete the two-stage approach, however, may have long-term survival comparable to patients treated with a planned single-stage hepatectomy.
- Liver metastases
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