Hepatic resection is surgery to remove a portion of the liver.
Hepatic resection is most often used to treat cancer in the liver. It can also be done for the following reasons: Treat other tumors in the liver (including benign [non-cancerous] lesions)
Treat cancer that has spread to the liver (most often seen in patients with
Treat trauma to the liver
Liver Cancer Due to Liver Disease (Cirrhosis)
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Your doctor will review possible complications such as: Excess bleedingReaction to anesthesiaInfectionNausea and vomitingLow blood sugarLiver failure
Before your procedure, talk to your doctor about ways to manage factors that may increase your risk of complications such as: SmokingDrinkingChronic diseases, such as diabetes, liver disease, or obesity
Long-term side effects are uncommon. This is because the liver is able to regrow and function normally within a few months. But, this can happen more slowly in older patients.
Your doctor may do some of the following: Physical examBlood testsLiver function testsYou may be given
to shrink liver tumors.
You may meet with a doctor who specializes in liver surgery.
Your doctor may do tests to determine the exact location of the tumors:
—a test that uses sound waves to make an image in the abdomen
—a type of x-ray that uses a computer to make pictures of structures in the abdomen
—a test that uses a small amount of radiation to locate areas in the body with abnormal metabolic activity, such as cancers
—a test that uses magnetic waves to make picture of structures in the abdomen
Talk to your doctor about your medications. You may be asked to stop taking some medications up to one week before the procedure, like:
will be used. It will block any pain and keep you asleep through the surgery.
The doctor will make an incision in the right upper abdomen, under the rib cage. The doctor will remove any tumors on the liver and some of the surrounding healthy tissue. Sometimes, the gallbladder will also need to be removed. The doctor may use an ultrasound probe to examine the liver during surgery to make sure there are no remaining tumors. Your doctor may leave a drain going from inside your abdomen to outside your body. This will drain any blood or leakage from the liver. The doctor will close your incision with stitches or staples.
You will be taken to the intensive care unit for about 24 hours. The hospital staff will monitor you.
Anesthesia prevents pain during surgery. Pain or soreness during recovery will be managed with pain medication.
The usual length of stay is three to seven days. The doctor may choose to keep you longer if there are complications.
You will receive nutrition through an IV. It will be removed once you are eating and drinking.You may have drains from the incision site to help the wound heal properly. Drains are usually removed before you leave the hospital.You may have a small catheter put into your bladder to drain urine. It will be removed in a few days.You will be given medications to manage pain. These may be given through injections, your IV, or through a pump attached to a needle in your arm.You may be given medications to prevent nausea.
During your stay, the hospital staff will take steps to reduce your chance of infection, such as: Washing their handsWearing gloves or masksKeeping your incisions covered
There are also steps you can take to reduce your chance of infection, such as: Washing your hands often and reminding your healthcare providers to do the sameReminding your healthcare providers to wear gloves or masksNot allowing others to touch your incision
When you return home, do the following to help ensure a smooth recovery: Change your bandages as directed by your doctor.Ask your doctor about when it is safe to shower, bathe, or soak in water.Take pain medication as needed.You may begin to feel better in about six weeks.
Call your doctor if any of these occur:
Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, warmth, drainage, or bulging at the incision siteYellow skin colorItchy skinChanges in mental statusPersistent nausea and/or vomitingSevere abdominal pain and/or swellingSigns of infection, including fever and chillsCough, shortness of breath, or chest painPain and/or swelling in your feet, calves, or legsFeeling weak or lightheaded
If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.
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http://www.macmillan.org.uk/Cancerinformation/Cancertypes/Liversecondary/Treatingsecondarylivercancer/Treatmentoverview.aspx. Updated January 1, 2013. Accessed February 26, 2014.
van den Broek MA, Damink SM, Dejong CH, et al. Liver failure after partial hepatic resection: definition, pathophysiology, risk factors, and treatment.
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Last reviewed February 2014 by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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