BACKGROUND/AIMS Hepatocellular carcinoma is notably more prevalent in male. The purpose of this study was to assess the surgical results in male and female cirrhotic patients. METHODOLOGY The surgical outcomes of 129 hepatocellular carcinoma patients with cirrhosis, including 109 males and 20 females, who had undergone hepatic resection were studied. The clinical, histologic features, DNA ploidy and proliferative phase fraction of tumor and cirrhotic liver were compared between male and female patients. RESULTS Female patients had significantly lower incidences of history of smoking (5.6% vs. 52.9%, P < 0.001), alcohol intake (5.6% vs. 42.3%, P = 0.003) and hepatitis B surface antigen positivity (47.1% vs. 73.5%, P = 0.028) than male. Cell-cycle analysis of tumor part revealed female had a significant lower G2M phase fraction (3.4%) than male (5.7%) (P = 0.027). The 1-, 3-, and 5-year disease-free survival rates in male and female patients were 65.5% and 88.2%, 36% and 64.4%, and 29.7% and 64.4%, respectively. Female patients had a significantly better disease-free survival than male (P = 0.034, log-rank test). CONCLUSIONS Female hepatocellular carcinoma with cirrhosis had lower incidences of hepatitis B surface antigenemia, alcohol abuse and lower DNA postsynthetic phase fraction in tumor tissue than male. Consequently, female hepatocellular carcinoma with cirrhosis had better survival than male.