Victorian HepatoPancreato Biliary Surgery Group, Malvern Victoria
 
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Liver Surgery

Liver Resection

A liver resection is the surgical removal of a section of the liver. This procedure is performed as a treatment option for some types of liver cancer. This procedure may also be performed on those willing to donate part of their liver to a loved one.

  1. General
  2. The Procedure
  3. Post Procedure
  4. Discharge Instructions

1. General

  • A liver resection is the surgical removal of a section of the liver

  • This procedure is performed as a treatment option for some types of liver cancer

  • This procedure may also be performed on those willing to donate part of their liver to a loved one

  • The liver is a vital organ and the only one that has the ability to regenerate itself. Up to 75% of the liver can be removed as long as the remaining liver tissue is healthy

2. The Procedure

  • Your surgeon will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for the procedure. In general, you will have to fast at least overnight and will be assessed for suitability for surgery

  • You will report to hospital. A nurse will review your chart and confirm that all paperwork is in order

  • You will have a pre-operative interview with an anesthesiologist who will ask you questions regarding your medical history

  • A liver resection is usually performed under general anesthesia, which will keep you asleep during surgery

  • Before any medications are administered, your surgeon will verify your name and the type of procedure you are having

  • An incision is made in the abdomen just below the rib cage. Your surgeon will carefully dissect the section of liver that is to be removed from the many veins, arteries and bile ducts that support it

  • Once complete, the incision is closed with staples

3. Post Procedure

  • Once the surgery is completed, you will be taken to a post-operative or recovery unit where a nurse will monitor your progress

  • It is important that your bandages be kept clean and dry

  • You may experience mild discomfort at the incision site, so your doctor may prescribe pain medication

  • Most patients will remain in the hospital for a week following a liver resection

  • As with any surgery, there are risks such as infection, or an adverse reaction to anesthesia. Your surgeon will inform you of all the risks prior to surgery

  • A scar will remain where the incision was made. It should fade and be less visible over time

4. Discharge Instructions

  • Light activity at home is encouraged after surgery

  • You can expect to return to normal activities such as showering, driving, walking up stairs, light lifting, and work as soon as you feel comfortable

  • If you are taking narcotic medications for pain, you should not drive

  • Be sure to call your doctor if any of the following symptoms appear:

    • Fever
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Abdominal pain
    • Upper back pain on the right side
    • Redness or swelling around the incision
    • Warmth around the incision
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