Liver resection is the surgical removal of part of the liver. Liver resections can be performed laparoscopically, using small incisions and a fiber optic camera, or in an open fashion, in which a large incision is made in the patient’s abdomen. Liver resection is performed as a treatment option for the removal of liver cancer and cancerous tumors. The quality of liver function is taken into account when assessing patients as candidates for resection. If cirrhosis is severe, the patient will likely develop liver failure following resection. Up to half of the liver can be removed, as long as the remainder is healthy. A healthy resected liver can regenerate itself in a matter of weeks.
Laparoscopic Liver Resection
Laparoscopic liver resection is a minimally invasive approach to the liver resection procedure. It is performed under general anesthesia. During the laparoscopic liver resection procedure, very small incisions are made and a small fiber optic camera is used to remove tumors from the surface of the liver. For larger tumors or tumors located deeper within the liver, an open procedure is necessary.
The benefits of laparoscopic liver resection include minimal blood loss during the surgery, lessened pain and discomfort after the procedure, less scarring, both internally and externally, and a shorter hospital stay and recovery time. The risks associated with laparoscopic liver resection include post-operative bleeding and the risks associated with general anesthesia: heart attack, stroke, and death.
Open Liver Resection
The open liver resection procedure gives the surgeon operating on the liver good visibility, especially for larger tumors, or tumors that are located deep within the liver. For these types of liver tumors, open resection is the optimal method of removal.
The benefits of open liver resection include improved life expectancy and quality of life following the resection surgery and the ability it gives surgeons to remove less of the healthy, normal liver while still completely ridding it of all of the tumor(s). The risks associated with open liver resection include post-operative bleeding and the risks associated with general anesthesia: heart attack, stroke, and death.