(Removal of Part of Liver Tissue)
Why would you need to remove part of the liver?
The presence or suspicion of liver cancer is best treated with removal of part of liver. The liver cancer may be primary (arising in liver tissue) or secondary (cancer cells having travelled from other organs).
How is liver resection performed?
Modern techniques and better understanding of liver anatomy and blood flow allow for safe dissection of liver tissue with minimal blood loss. The liver tissue is dissected, for which there are various techniques – the blood vessels and bile ducts are ligated and divided. It is possible to remove >60% of the liver, and in the appropriate circumstances, the remaining liver becomes hypertrophic and assumes of the function of the lost liver tissue.
Liver resection may be performed with key hole (laparoscopic) or open approach.
What are other ways of treating liver tumours?
Liver tumours are sometimes treated by other means such as ablation (destroying with heat, by placing a metal probe), embolisation (disrupting blood supply to the tumour) or chemotherapy (drugs).
What about recovery following liver surgery?
The recovery following laparoscopic approach is associated with quicker recovery and return to work. In other situations, an open (traditional) liver resection usually requires on average about 6 days in hospital. The subsequent recovery may take up to 6-8 weeks, dependent on extent of operation.