What Is Liver Resection Surgery?

If you have been diagnosed with a liver disorder and are searching for a liver surgeon in Surat, then you aren’t the only one. The hustle culture has made us ignore the importance of health. It is only after a certain health scare that we realise the folly of ignoring our health.

A liver disorder diagnosis can be quite scary and raises so many questions. Coping with the recent diagnosis is a gradual process and answering some of these questions gives a sense of relief to the patient. Here’s a guide for people searching for answers for liver disorders.

What is Liver?

The liver is the largest solid organ of our body and is extremely essential for vital functions. All the blood in our body passes through the liver. The liver is responsible for removing toxins and other harmful substances from the blood. It also regulates blood clotting and metabolizes drugs into simpler forms that can be used by the body. 

It produces bile, which helps in breaking down fats from the ingested food. It is also responsible for regulating the metabolism of the body. This plus some additional 300 more vital functions of the body are regularly handled by the liver. Suffice it to say: The liver is the most important organ of our body.

And like any other organ of the body, the liver, too, is susceptible to diseases that can affect its functioning. The good news is that the liver is the only organ of the body that repairs and heals the damaged portion by regenerating new healthy tissues. But there are times when the liver needs medical and surgical intervention. One such intervention is liver resection. 

What is liver resection?

Liver resection is a surgical procedure where the tumour part of the liver is removed along with the surrounding tissues that are affected by the disease while keeping the healthy tissues intact. Liver resection is also known as hepatectomy. When a small part of the liver is removed it is known as partial hepatectomy. 

Partial hepatectomy can only be performed on small tumours that have not spread into the blood vessels. People suffering from liver diseases but having good liver function and are healthy enough to survive the surgery can opt for partial hepatectomy to get rid of the liver disease. 

There are cases when the entire liver needs to be replaced with a small part of a new liver from a donor. This is called liver transplant and it is needed in cases where the tumour has spread to the blood vessels or if there are many tumours on different parts of the liver or if the person has end-stage liver disease. 

Upto two-thirds of the liver can be removed during a partial hepatectomy as long as the remaining liver is healthy enough and can grow back.

Why is liver resection needed?

Liver resection may be needed in two conditions:

  • When you have a diseased liver: 

The liver may suffer from various diseases leading to its destruction and requiring a liver resection procedure. Common reasons for liver resection are the removal of cancerous, precancerous, and noncancerous tumours. Cancer that originates in the liver is known as primary liver cancer and can be treated with a liver resection. 

Common types of primary liver cancer that can be treated with partial hepatectomy are hepatocellular carcinoma and cholangiocarcinoma. Metastatic colorectal cancer is a secondary liver cancer that can be treated with liver resection. Secondary liver cancer implies that cancer originated in other organs and has spread to the liver. 

Liver resection is also performed in noncancerous conditions like when a person has gallstones inside the bile ducts of the liver or liver cystadenoma (liver cysts) or adenoma (noncancerous benign tumour).

  • When you are donating part of the liver for liver transplantation: 

You will have to undergo liver resection surgery in case you decide to donate part of your liver. A part of your healthy liver is transplanted into someone who needs a new liver. The liver in both the individuals, the donor as well as the receiver, will grow back to normal full-sized organ gradually.

How serious is liver resection surgery?

Liver resection is a high-risk major surgery and needs to be performed only by experienced liver surgeons. This is because the liver has many blood vessels that may bleed excessively during the surgery. Experienced surgeons are trained specifically to manage such possibilities. 

To reduce the risk, liver resection can also be performed laparoscopically (minimally invasive method) if the resection is smaller in size i.e less than half of the liver. If more than half of the liver is to be resected, then an open surgery needs to be performed making the surgery difficult as well as dangerous. 

If you are looking for a liver doctor in Surat, then Dr. Dhaval Mangukiya is one of the most experienced liver surgeons in Surat and has performed numerous liver surgeries in Surat. 

Can a person live without a liver?

No. A person cannot survive without a healthy and functioning liver.  Your liver functions gradually decline, which is also known as liver failure. Liver failure has very subtle symptoms that are easily missed such as nausea, blood in stool and jaundice-like yellowing of skin and eyes etc. Liver failure is irreversible, and you will require a liver transplant.

How does alcohol damage the liver? 

The liver is responsible for breaking down everything we consume, including alcohol. Breaking down alcohol creates more toxic substances that damage the liver and cause serious liver diseases. Constant consumption of alcohol over a period of time also leads to the build-up of fats in the liver known as fatty liver disease.

Alcohol causes liver diseases like:

  1. Fatty liver
  2. Scarring of the liver
  3. Inflammation of the liver
  4. Acute alcoholic hepatitis 
  5. Liver failure

What is laparoscopic liver surgery?

Apart from open surgery, liver resection surgery can also be performed through a minimally invasive method. This means that a portion of the liver will be removed through a flexible tube that has a camera and light attached to its end. This is inserted into the body through small incisions and the diseased portion of the liver is taken out. This is known as laparoscopic liver resection. It can be performed only if the resection is small. Laparoscopic liver resection is less risky than open procedures and allows for a faster recovery. 

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