Background: Minimally invasive techniques have increasingly found their way into liver surgery in recent years. A multitude of mostly retrospective analyses suggests several advantages of laparoscopic over open liver surgery. Due to the speed and variety of simultaneous technical and strategic developments, it is difficult to maintain an overview of the current status and perspectives in laparoscopic liver surgery.
Purpose: This review highlights up-to-date aspects in laparoscopic liver surgery. We discuss established indications with regard to their development over time as well as continuing limitations of applied techniques. We give an assessment based on the current literature and according to our own center experiences, not least with regard to a highly topical cost discussion.
Conclusions: While in the beginning mainly benign tumors were laparoscopically operated on, liver metastasis and hepatocellular carcinoma are now among the most frequent indications. Technical limitations remain and should be evaluated with the overall aim not to endanger quality standards in open surgery. Financial aspects cannot be neglected with the necessity of cost-covering reimbursement.