Surgery-related morbidity has been identified as prognostic risk factor for tumor recurrence for several tumor types, but data regarding hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) are limited and controversial. The aim of this study was to analyze the impact of surgical complications on the risk of HCC recurrence after hepatic resection (HR). A Retrospective study was conducted on a cohort of patients submitted to HR in a tertiary teaching hospital, between January 2006 and December 2015. 112 patients were submitted to HR during the study period. Cirrhosis was present in 84% of cases, with portal hypertension in 19.6%. The median MELD score was 8 (range 6-15). The median number of lesions per patient was 1 (range 1-5) with a mean diameter of 5.4 ± 3.8 cm. Major HR were performed in 18.2% of cases. Overall post-op morbidity was 48.2% with Clavien-Dindo (CD) severity score ≥3 in 15.2% of cases. The most frequent complications were infected biloma (19.6%) and liver failure (14%). HCC recurred in 48% of patients. At univariate analysis overall post-op complications (HR 2.313, p = 0.003), CD score >2 (HR 2.075, p = 0.047), post-op liver failure (HR 2.990, p = 0.007), post-op iperbilirubinemia (HR 1.151, p = 0.049), post-op bleeding (HR 2.633, p < 0.001) and infected biloma (HR 2.696, p = 0.001) were risk factors for HCC recurrence. At multivariate analysis post-op liver failure (HR 4.081, p < 0.0001) and infected biloma (HR 2.971, p < 0.0001) maintained statistical significance for HCC recurrence. Thus Major surgical complications after HR, especially post-op liver failure and infected biloma are risk factors for HCC recurrence.