The liver is the largest solid organ in the body, located in the upper right portion of the abdomen. It is one of the vital organs, which regulates various bodily functions and also supports the normal functioning of other organs in the body. Some of the key functions of the liver are as follows:
Different liver disorders affect the normal functioning of the liver. Liver surgery includes various surgical procedures performed on the liver, for the management of different diseases affecting the liver. Resection is the most common surgical procedure performed on the liver and comprises the removal of a portion of the liver. A malignant tumour is the most common indication for a liver resection.
Based on the origin, tumours in the liver are categorized into:
Colon cancer is the most common cause of metastasis to the liver. Single or multiple tumours involving the different lobes of the liver can be resected with a high success rate, depending on the stage of the primary tumour.
Liver resection may also be employed for benign tumours of the liver such as cyst, adenoma, and haemangioma. For small and superficially located benign tumours, a laparoscopic approach can be employed for the resection.
Liver resection can also be performed as a part of live donor liver transplant in individuals who voluntarily donate a part of their liver to their relatives.
Liver resection does not require blood transfusion and requires about 3-5 hours. Up to 75% of the liver tissues can be securely removed by a liver resection. The patients may be required to stay in the hospital for about 5 days after the procedure. Liver is capable of regeneration. The complete regeneration of the resected liver, to its original size, may take 6-8 weeks. Good nutrition with a high protein diet is crucial for liver regeneration, however, cirrhotic liver or unhealthy liver is not capable of regeneration.
Patients undergoing liver surgery should be screened for various liver diseases that can affect the outcome of the surgery. Liver surgery is contraindicated in the following conditions:
Other conditions associated with a variable risk following a liver surgery include obstructive jaundice, cardiac surgery and trauma.
The common complications associated with liver surgery include:
Some of the basic post-operative instructions for patients undergoing liver surgery are as follows: