A liver resection is the surgical removal of all or a portion of the liver. It is also referred to as a hepatectomy, complete or partial. A complete liver resection is performed in the setting of a transplant where a diseased liver is removed from a deceased donor (cadaver). A living donor may also provide a piece of liver tissue which is procured through a partial hepatectomy.
Most hepatectomies are performed for the treatment of liver cancers, both benign or malignant. Benign tumours include hepatic adenoma, hepatic hemangioma and focal nodular hyperplasia.The most common cancers of the liver are metastases; those arising from colorectal cancer are among the most common, and the most amenable to surgical resection. The most common primary malignant tumour of the liver is the hepato cellular carcinoma.
Most of the liver tumours are asymptomatic and are detected on screening for other purposes or on complete health evaluation checkups. Some present with decreased appetite, weight loss, upper abdominal pain or blood vomiting. Mostly they are found on sonography of abdomen.Causes of the liver tumours are liver damage secondary to Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, alcohol or other rare diseases.
Liver surgery is safe when performed by experienced surgeons with appropriate technology and institutional support. As with most major surgical procedures, there is a marked tendency towards optimal results at the hands of surgeons with high caseloads in selected centres.