Laparoscopic hepatectomy is considered an acceptable treatment of choice in selected patients with primary hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Whether indocyanine green (ICG) immunofluorescence, a new technology, may improve surgery outcomes has yet to be tested. The aim of the present study was to investigate and compare the effect of ICG fluorescence imaging on the outcomes of pure laparoscopic hepatectomy and open hepatectomy for primary HCC with background cirrhosis. Pure laparoscopic hepatectomy with ICG immunofluorescence for primary HCC can be carried out safely with favorable short-term outcomes even in cirrhotic patients. Better identification of the bile duct structure and better assessment of the tumor resection margin and perfusion are advantages of this new technique.