(Resection, Hepatic; Liver Resection; Resection, Liver)
How to Say It: heh-PA-tik ree-SEK-shun
by Amy Scholten, MPH
Hepatic resection is surgery to remove part of the liver. The liver is an organ. It helps the body digest food and get rid of toxins.
Reasons for Procedure
This surgery is done to:
Problems are rare, but all procedures have some risk. The doctor will go over some problems that could happen, such as:
Things that may raise the risk of problems are:
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
The surgical team may meet with you to talk about:
General anesthesia will be used. You will be asleep.
Description of the Procedure
An incision will be made in the upper abdomen, under the rib cage. Any tumors on the liver will be removed. Sometimes the gallbladder also needs to be removed. The doctor may check the liver with an ultrasound probe. This is to make sure there are no more tumors.
The doctor may place a tube in the areato drain fluids. It will be taken out before leaving the hospital. The incision will be closed with stitches or staples. A bandage will be placed over the site.
How Long Will It Take?
About 3 to 7 hours
Will It Hurt?
Pain and swelling are common in the first 1 to 2 weeks. Medicine and home care help.
Average Hospital Stay
The usual length of stay is 3 to 7 days. You may need to stay longer if you have problems.
At the Hospital
After the procedure, the staff may give medicines to control pain or nausea.
During your stay, the hospital staff will take steps to lower your risk of infection such as:
There are also steps you can take to lower your risk of infection such as:
Recovery takes up to 6 weeks. Physical activity will be limited during this time. You will need to ask for help around the house and delay return to work.
Call Your Doctor
Call your doctor if you are not getting better or you have:
If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.
American Cancer Society
American Liver Foundation
Canadian Cancer Society
Canadian Liver Foundation
Orcutt S, Anaya D. Liver resection and surgical strategies for management of primary liver cancer. Cancer Control. Jan-Mar 2018;25(1):1073274817744621.
Hepatocellular carcinoma in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/hepatocellular-carcinoma-in-adults. Accessed January 15, 2021.
What is liver cancer? American Cancer Society website. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/liver-cancer/about/what-is-liver-cancer.html. Accessed January 15, 2021
Last reviewed February 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Marcin Chwistek, MD
Last Updated: 1/15/2021
EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our Health Library Support team will respond to your email request within 2 business days.
All rights reserved.