BACKGROUND : Scarce data are available comparing outcomes of hepatic resection vs orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) for localized hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients both meeting and exceeding the Milan criteria. This study compared the clinical and oncological outcomes of patients undergoing hepatic resection vs transplantation localized HCC. METHODS : Between January 2005 and February 2017, clinical and oncological outcomes of patients who underwent liver resection (n = 38) vs OLT (n = 28) for localized HCC were compared using a prospectively maintained database. RESULTS : A total of 66 patients (with a median age of 62) who met the study criteria were analyzed. Comparable postoperative complications (13.2% vs 28.6%, P = .45) and perioperative mortality rates (7.9% vs 10.7%, P = .2) were noted for the resection vs OLT groups. While Child-Pugh Class A patients were more prevalent in the resection group (78.9% vs 7.1%, P = .0001), the rate of patients who met the Milan criteria was higher in the OLT group (89.3% vs 34.25, P = .0001). Recurrence rates were 36.8% in the resection group and 3.6% in the OLT group at the end of the median follow-up period (32 vs 39 months, respectively). The HCC-related mortality rate was significantly higher in the resection group (39.5% vs 10.7%, P = .034). However, a subgroup analysis of patients who met the Milan criteria revealed similar rates of recurrence and HCC-related mortality (15.4% vs 8%, P = .63). Based on logistic regression analysis, number of tumors (P = .034, odds ratio: 2.1) and "resection"-type surgery (P = .008, odds ratio: 20.2) were independently associated with recurrence. CONCLUSIONS : Compared to liver transplantation, hepatic resection for localized hepatocellular carcinoma is associated with a higher rate of recurrence and disease-related mortality.