Publications (7)

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: The purpose of the present study was to determine whether intrahepatic injection of (131)I-lipiodol (Lipiodol) is effective against recurrence of surgically resected hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Methods: From June 2001 through March 2007, this nationwide multi-center prospective randomized controlled trial enrolled 103 patients 4-6 weeks after curative resection of HCC with complete recovery (52: Lipiodol, 51: Control). Follow-up was every 3 months for 1 year, then every 6 months. Primary and secondary endpoints were recurrence-free survival (RFS) and overall survival (OS), respectively, both of which were evaluated by the Kaplan-Meier technique and summarized by the hazard ratio (HR). The design was based on information obtained from a similar trial that had been conducted in Hong Kong. Results: The Lipiodol group showed a small, and nonsignificant, improvement over control in RFS (HR = 0.75; 95 % confidence interval [95 % CI] 0.46-1.23; p = 0.25) and OS (HR = 0.88; 95 % CI 0.51-1.51; p = 0.64). Only two serious adverse events were reported, both with hypothyroidism caused by (131)I-lipiodol and hepatic artery dissection during angiography. Conclusions: The randomized trial provides insufficient evidence to recommend the routine use of (131)I-lipiodol in these patients.
    Article · Mar 2013 · World Journal of Surgery
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although mortality & morbidity for pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD) have improved significantly over the last two decades, the concern for elderly undergoing PD remains. This study examines the outcome of the elderly patients who had pancreaticoduodenectomy in our institution. A prospective database comprising 69 patients who underwent pancreaticoduodenectomy between 2001 and May 2008 was analyzed. Using WHO definition, elderly patient is defined as age 65 and above in this study. Two groups of patients were compared [Group 1: Age ≤65 & Group 2: Age >65]. The mean age of our patients was 62 ± 11 years. There were 37 (54%) patients in Group 1 and 32 (46%) patients in Group 2. There was no statistical difference between the two groups in terms of gender and race. However, there were more patients in the Group 2 with >2 comorbidities (p = 0.03). The median duration of operation was significantly longer in Group 2 (550 min vs 471 min, p = 0.04). Morbidity rate in Group 2 was higher (56% vs. 44%, p = 0.04). There was higher proportion of post-operative pancreatic fistula (POPF) in the elderly group (37.5% vs. 16.7%, p = 0.05). Majority of them are Grade A POPF according to the ISG definition. The median post-operative length-of-stay (LOS) in hospital was 9 days longer in Group 2 (p = 0.01). Mortality rate between the 2 groups of patients was comparable (0% vs. 3%, p = 0.28). Elderly patients are at increased risk of morbidity in pancreatocoduodenectomy, in particular POPF. However, morbidity and mortality rates are acceptable. It is therefore justified to offer PD to elderly patients who do not have significant cardiopulmonary comorbidities.
    Article · Jun 2012 · The surgeon: journal of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons of Edinburgh and Ireland
  • A.W.C. Kow · B Wang · D Wong · [...] · K.H. Liau
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hepatolithiasis is a challenging condition to treat especially in patients with previous hepatobiliary surgery. Percutaneous Transhepatic Cholangioscopic Lithotripsy (PTCSL) is an attractive salvage option for the treatment of recurrent hepatolithiasis. We reviewed our experience using PTCSL in treating 4 patients with previous complex abdominal surgery. We studied the 4 patients who underwent PTCSL from October 2007 to July 2009. We reviewed the operative procedures, workflow of performing PTCSL in our institution and the outcome of the procedure. PTCSL was performed in our institution using 3 mm cholangioscope (Dornier MedTech(®)) and Holmium laser with setting at 0.8 J, 20 Hz and 16 W. This was performed through a Percutaneous Transhepatic Cholangio-catheter inserted by interventional radiologists. There were 4 patients with a median age of 50 (43-69) years. The median duration of the condition prior to PTCSL was 102 (60-156) months. Three patients had recurrent pyogenic cholangitis (RPC) with recurrent intrahepatic stone. They all had prior complex hepatobiliary operations. The median duration of surgery was 130 (125-180) min. There was minimal intra-operative blood loss. The first procedure was performed under local anaesthesia and sedation, however, with experience the subsequent 3 patients had the procedure performed under general anaesthesia. The median size of bile duct was 18 (15-20) mm prior to the procedure. The number of stones ranged from one to three with the largest size of stone comparable to the size of bile duct. The median follow up was 18 (10-24) months. All patients were symptom free with neither stone recurrence or cholangitis at the last follow up. PTCSL is a feasible and an effective treatment method for patients with recurrent biliary stone following complex abdominal surgery as the success rates from open surgery and endoscopic procedures are limited. Excellent results can be expected with this minimally invasive technique.
    Article · Apr 2011 · The surgeon: journal of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons of Edinburgh and Ireland
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    E Wang · Alfred W. C. Kow · CY Chan · [...] · C K Ho
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Laparoscopic hepatectomy has been performed in many overseas centres. By avoiding long incisions associated with open hepatectomies, patients suffer less pain, recover faster and enjoy a shorter hospital stay. In Singapore, many centres have recently embarked on this approach. We believe that careful patient selection can facilitate scaling the learning curve. The aim of this study was to review our centre's initial outcome with laparoscopic anatomical liver resection when stringent selection criteria were applied. For our initial experience, we based our patient selection on criteria recommended by centres more experienced with laparoscopic hepatectomy. We selected only patients with small lesions confined to Couinaud's liver segments of II, III, IVB, V and VI. The surgical technique was similar in all cases, including intraoperative ultrasonography for localisation, ultrasonic shears and surgical staplers for parenchymal transection, and delivery of the specimen via a Pfannenstiel incision. No hand ports were used. Patients' records were retrospectively reviewed. Between July 2006 and August 2007, we had five consecutive patients. Their median age was 50 (range 36-66) years. Four of these patients had hepatocellular carcinomas and one had a liver abscess. The median operation time was 275 (range 250-290) minutes, and median intraoperative blood loss was 400 (range 200-700) ml. The median hospital stay was four days. At the initial stages of a laparoscopic hepatectomy programme, we propose that a stringent patient selection criteria coupled with the proper surgical expertise can ensure favourable outcomes, comparable to more established centres.
    Full-text Article · May 2009 · Singapore medical journal
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    A W C Kow · S P Chan · A Earnest · [...] · K H Liau
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD), once carried high morbidity and mortality, is now a routine operation performed for lesions arising from the pancreatico-duodenal complex. This study reviews the outcome of 101 pancreaticoduodenectomies performed after formalization of HepatoPancreatoBiliary (HPB) unit in the Department of Surgery. A prospective database comprising of patients who underwent PD was set up in 1999. Retrospective data for patients operated between 1996 and 1999 was included. One hundred and one cases accrued over 10 years from 1996 to 2006 were analysed using SPSS (Version 12.0). The mean age of our cohort of patients was 61+/-12 years with male to female ratio of 2:1. The commonest clinical presentations were obstructive jaundice (64%) and abdominal pain (47%). Majority had malignant lesions (86%) with invasive adenocarcinoma of the head of pancreas being the predominant histopathology (41%). Median operative time was 315 (180-945) minutes. Two-third of our patients had pancreaticojejunostomy (PJ) while the rest had pancreaticogastrostomy (PG). There were five patients with pancreatico-enteric anastomotic leak (5%), three of whom (3%) were from PJ anastomosis. Overall, in-hospital and 30-day mortality were both 3%. The median post-operative length of stay (LOS) was 15 days. Using logistic regressions, the post-operative morbidity predicts LOS following operation (p<0.005). The strategy in improving the morbidity and mortality rates of pancreaticoduodenectomies lies in the subspecialization of surgical services with regionalization of such complex surgeries to high volume centers. The key success lies in the dedication of staffs who continues to refine the clinical care pathway and standardize management protocol.
    Full-text Article · Dec 2008 · HPB
  • CY Chan · K H Liau · C K Ho · S P Chew
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mirizzi syndrome (MS) is an unusual complication of gallstone disease. The majority of cases are not identified pre-operatively, despite advances in imaging techniques. Eighteen cases of MS were treated between January 1997 and April 2002. The clinical presentation, modes of investigation, surgical management and outcome are retrospectively reviewed. There were 13 female and 5 male patients, with a mean age of 60 years. Seven patients presented with the classical Charcot's triad. Ultrasonography (US) was the first imaging investigation in 13 patients and computerised tomography (CT) in the other five cases. Eleven patients had a successful endoscopic retrograde cholangio-pancreatography (ERCP) carried out. Diagnosis of MS was arrived at in seven patients following pre-operative imagings. Overall, 11 patients had Type 1 and seven patients had Type 2 MS. In the group with Type 1 MS, nine patients underwent open cholecystectomy, of whom six had concomitant common bile duct (CBD) exploration for stones and one patient with biliary stenosis had a hepaticojejunostomy bypass. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy was attempted in two patients, with successful completion in one case. In the group with Type 2 MS, four fistulas were closed surgically, the other three had biliary bypass procedures. Mirizzi syndrome is an unusual condition that poses diagnostic and operative challenges to the surgeon. With a judicious approach during dissection and early recognition of its presence, bile duct injury can be avoided. Good outcome can be achieved with an appropriate surgical procedure.
    Article · Nov 2003 · The surgeon: journal of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons of Edinburgh and Ireland
  • C T Heng · K H Liau · C K Ho · [...] · S P Chew
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hepatolithiasis is an uncommon entity in Singapore. We reviewed the cases presented to our institution (a 1200-bedded restructured hospital) over a 5-year period. Twelve cases of hepatolithiasis were treated between December 1995 and July 2000 representing 0.77% of gallstone disease operated on in the same period. The clinical presentation, investigations, treatment and subsequent progress are presented. The patients' ages ranged from 28 to 82 years. There was a male to female ratio of 5:7. All patients had upper abdominal pain at presentation; 10 patients had clinical evidence of cholangitis. Ultrasound was the commonest first line investigation but additional investigations, such as computed tomographic (CT) scan and various forms of cholangiography, were frequently necessary for complete delineation of the biliary disease. The intrahepatic stones were located predominantly in the left lobe of the liver. Parenchymal atrophy was seen in 83% of patients. Two patients underwent a biliary bypass operation only, 5 had a hepatic resection only, and 5 had combined procedures. Follow-up ranged from 4 to 50 months. Postoperative recovery was generally unremarkable. Complications included subphrenic abscess (1 patient), recurrent stricture (1 patient) and recurrent stones (1 patient). One patient had an elevated serum CA 19-9 preoperatively; a small villous adenoma was noted at the biliary stricture in the resected left lateral segment of the liver. There was no operative mortality. Hepatolithiasis is uncommon in Singapore. Complete diagnosis requires a combination of imaging modalities. Surgery remains the mainstay of definitive treatment. With adequate treatment, good outcome is possible.
    Article · Feb 2002 · Annals of the Academy of Medicine, Singapore