Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common primary malignancy of the liver and is a common cause of cancer death worldwide. Treatment of HCC usually consists of combinations of locoregional therapy, surgical resection, orthotopic liver transplantation, and in advanced cases, systemic chemotherapy. The best rates of cure are achieved with surgical resection or orthotopic liver transplantation in well-selected patients. The success of surgical resection depends on the adequacy of the extent of resection, balanced with the need to preserve functional hepatic parenchyma. Nonanatomic resection for HCC has been proposed as a surgical technique to maximize residual liver mass, but has been shown by some to yield inferior oncologic outcomes compared with formal anatomic resection. This review discusses relevant surgical anatomy of the liver, classifications of hepatic resection, and the current literature regarding outcomes of anatomic and nonanatomic resection of the liver.