Liver Resection

Liver resection refers to the surgical method of removing either all or a small portion of the liver with the tumors. The procedure is also known as a hepatectomy, either complete or partial. Partial hepatectomy is surgery to remove part of the liver. This procedure may be undertaken either through a traditional open surgery or with minimally-invasive techniques.


The main reason a patient needs to undergo liver resection is liver cancer. This procedure is mostly performed for treating hepatic cancers, both benign as well as malignant. Hepatocellular carcinoma is the most common primary malignant liver. Hepatectomy is the preferred procedure for treating intrahepatic gallstones or parasitic cysts within the liver.

Medical Tests or Diagnosis

Liver resection surgery is meant for the treatment of various types of liver cancer. When a patient suffers from severe symptoms of liver cancers, doctors suggest some of the medical tests for diagnosing cancer. These tests are mentioned below:
  1. Blood tests to reveal various functional abnormalities of liver
  2. Imaging tests, such as MRI and CT scan
  3. Removal of sample liver tissue for further testing in the laboratory to make definitive detection of liver cancer

Pre-surgery precautions and post-surgery recovery

  1. Patients who would undergo liver resection are advised to remain as active as possible before the surgery
  2. They are advised to eat a healthy diet
  3. They need to reduce the extent of or quit smoking and drinking alcohol
  4. Take certain medications as prescribed by doctors before surgery

Some of the post-surgery recovery steps for patients are:

  1. Patients may need to stay at the hospital for five to seven days or as long as two weeks after the surgery depending upon their health conditions
  2. Patients need to plan their regular follow-up care as the cancer may return, even after a successful surgery
  3. Post-surgery, patients may also undergo treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation treatments.


Techniques, such as clamp crushing as well as ultrasonic dissection, are quite widely-used transection techniques. Recently, for the treatment of liver transection, advanced instruments using various types of energy for coagulation or sealing of vessels have been developed. These include Harmonic Scalpel, radiofrequency devices, Ligasure, and TissueLink dissecting sealer. These new instruments, either used isolated or in combination with clamp crushing or ultrasonic dissection, successfully enhance the safety of liver resection procedure.

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