The clinical efficacy of hepatectomy and radiofrequency ablation (RFA) in treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) was reviewed in present article. Currently, although hepatectomy remains the prior option for the treatment of liver cancer, an equivalent treatment result for the extirpation of small HCC (less than 3cm in diameter) can be achieved by RFA. Because of limitation in term of size, location of tumor and technique of physician, there were still drawbacks to RFA application. To make a breakthrough in RFA application and to achieve equivalent result as resection, it is essential to abide by the principle of hepatic surgery and to destroy the liver tumor totally in only single ablation. Nowadays, with assistance of laparoscope, the technique has been developed to achieve complete ablation in one operation in treatment of HCC in particular location or of certain size (larger than 3cm in diameter), and the process was safe, painless and less invasive. Therefore, the treatment to HCC could be further improved in the future by combining minimally invasive surgery and RFA based on surgical principle.