Liver Surgery

The liver is the largest organ in the body, located in the upper right portion of the abdomen. It is one of the vital organs that regulates various bodily functions and supports the normal functioning of other organs in the body, as well. Liver surgery includes various surgical procedures performed for the management of different diseases affecting the liver.

Resection is the most common surgical procedure performed on the liver and comprises of the removal of a portion of the liver. A malignant tumour is the most common indication for a liver resection, and may also be employed for benign tumours such as cysts, adenomas, and hemangiomas. For small and superficially located benign tumours, a minimally invasive laparoscopic approach (through small incisions) can be employed. Liver resection can also be performed as a part of a live donor liver transplant in individuals who voluntarily donate a part of their liver to their relatives. However, liver surgery is contraindicated for acute or fulminant hepatitis, alcoholic hepatitis, severe chronic hepatitis, obstructive jaundice, cardiac surgery and trauma.

Up to 75% of the liver tissues can be securely removed by a liver resection. It takes about 3-5 hours to complete.

You may be required to stay in the hospital for about 5 days after the procedure. The liver is capable of regeneration, and may take 6-8 weeks for complete regeneration of the resected liver to its original size. Good nutrition with a high protein diet is crucial for liver regeneration. You are encouraged to walk and perform some physical activities to keep the lungs healthy and prevent blood clots. Do not eat or drink anything for the first few days after the surgery. You can gradually start on a liquid diet followed by solid foods, few weeks after the surgery. Avoid lifting heavy weights for at least 6-8 weeks and all consumption of alcohol.

As with all surgeries, liver surgery may be associated with certain complications such as liver failure, liver abscess, infection around the surgical site, bleeding, blood clots, bile leakage and pneumonia.