Fibrolamellar hepatocellular carcinoma (FL HCC) is an uncommon variant of hepatocellular carcinoma occurring usually in non-cirrhotic livers. Hepatic resection or transplantation offers the only chance of cure. We reviewed our experience of surgery for FL HCC from 1985-1998. Twenty patients with FL HCC (13 females and 7 males) median age 27 years (range 12-69) were treated either by hepatic resection [n = 11; extended right hepatectomy (5), extended left hepatectomy (1), right hemihepatectomy (2), left hemihepatectomy (2), left lateral segmentectomy (1)] or, if the disease was non-resectable, by transplantation (n = 9). The median follow up was 25 months (1-63). The prognostic factors analysed included size [less than 5 cm (3 patients), more than 5 cm (17 patients)], number [solitary (16 patients), multiple (4 patients)], capsular invasion (6 patients), vascular invasion (11 patients) and lymph node invasion (6 patients). The overall survival at 1, 3 and 5 years was 89.5, 75 and 50%, respectively. The liver resection survival was better than liver transplantation survival at 3 years 100 vs 76%, respectively (P < 0.025). Although all prognostic factors analysed did not show a significant difference, there is tendency that tumour stage was the most significant for prognosis. Most of the patients in this study are young and presented without specific symptoms, with normal liver function range and had no tumour marker to help in diagnosis. As a result most of our patients were diagnosed late. However the outcome of surgical intervention was favourable.