At the early phases of liver cancer, liver resection is found to be efficient. Therefore, patients with high levels of liver cancer (stage 2 and higher) may not be able to benefit from the surgery. Also, sometimes, patients who are suffering from other health conditions may not be suitable for the operation as well.
Patient is required to stay 5 to 8 nights in the hospital
Before the operation, your surgeon should be informed about the other illnesses you have and the medications you have been taking. Thus, your doctor can choose the best preparation for you and may ask you to stop some of your medication, such as the ones with blood-thinning qualities. Also, for liver transplant surgery, there must be a suitable donor found. Lastly, before the day of your surgery, you should not eat anything, and you will be able to drink only the drinks your surgeon agreed.
Liver resection is performed in two different ways:
• Liver resection without a liver transplant –In this procedure, a patient's liver is removed partly. The removal can get up to 70% of the patient's liver. The rest of the liver left in the body grows and leads the patient's body to function as it did before.
• Liver resection with liver transplant surgery – For this operation, a patient’s liver is removed completely, and it is replaced with either a liver or a part of a liver donated by mostly family members (if from a living donor).
Generally, surgeons perform the liver resection procedure by making a cut in the patient’s abdomen.
It might take some time (around 8 weeks) for patients to recover after the liver resection procedure. Patients should stay at the hospital for the first 1-2 weeks after the surgery; during this time, medical staff would be monitoring the patient's liver functions and incision site. After this process, you will be released from the hospital. After the liver resection operation patients should stay active during their recovery time, even if it means a short walk a day. As for drinking alcohol, driving, and having sex, please ask your doctor first.
Patients might be experiencing some risks and complications after the liver resection or liver transplant operation such as infected incision and internal bleeding.As for liver transplant surgery, there is always some risk that the body will reject the liver transplant, putting the patient's life or health at risk. Because of the drugs being taken for the ensure the acceptance of liver transplant, kidney failure might occur
At first, the patient may experience pain, but it can be blocked with the help of painkillers. Also, the patient might experience numbness in the incision site for some time as a result of damaged nerves caused by the surgery.
For the success rate of liver resection, there is no exact information gathered. However, in some resources success rate is estimated to be around 50% whereas other resources estimated it to be between 10 to 60 percent.As for patients who underwent this procedure as a liver cancer treatment, many of them will see cancer regrowth after some months or years.
What Is Better – Liver Resection or Liver Resection with Liver Transplant Surgery? The choice of a liver transplant is dictated by patient’s medical situation. Not all the patients need to have a liver transplant surgery. Does Liver Resection Impair Liver’s Functions? The liver is the only organ which can regenerate in size – the part of liver left in patient’s body grows in order to fully perform its functions. For this reason, liver resection does not put patient’s body at risk of the underperforming liver. What Are the Conditions which Suggest a Liver Resection? There are many reasons for liver resection, such as liver cancer or advanced liver cirrhosis caused by alcoholic liver disease or hepatitis. Liver resection (with or without liver transplant surgery) is mostly practiced as a liver cancer treatment.
This content is written and reviewed by our medical content team in August, 2019.