Liver Cancer Surgery

Liver and Bile Duct Surgery

There have been several recent developments that have made operations safer and recovery faster for patients undergoing liver and bile duct surgery.

About 20% of surgeries are done laparoscopically. Similar to gallbladder surgery, laparoscopic surgery involves band-aid sized incisions. The usual hospital stay after laparoscopic liver surgery is 1-2 days and total recovery is often 2 weeks or less.

Open liver and bile duct surgery has become much safer for patients.

  • The average length of stay in the hospital is 4-7 days.
  • We use several different types of medicine to achieve adequate pain control. These include spinal and local anesthesia, NSAIDS (aspirin-like medications), Tylenol, and low dose narcotic medications.
  • Patients are usually up walking and eating on the day after surgery.  When patients to home, they are able to walk in halls, upstairs, and even outside.
  • The risk of severe complications for most patients is 10% or less.  The most common severe complication after liver surgery is infection. The risk of dying after liver surgery is less than 1% for most patients.
  • There are no long-term adjustments needed in lifestyle or activity for most patients after liver surgery.

The incision for open liver surgery usually is about one inch below the right rib cage and extends to the end of the breast bone. The incision is all within the abdomen and does not involve the chest.

Liver Disease and Cancer Treatments