What is Hepatectomy?

Hepatectomy, or liver resection, is a surgical procedure that removes all or part of your liver to treat cancer or other diseases. The liver is divided into one left and one right lobe, and each lobe is divided into segments. The amount of liver removed is dependent on factors such as the size, location, and number of tumors or other lesions. The following are types of liver resection:

  • Wedge resection, which removes a small piece of the liver for small lesions
  • Segmentectomy, which removes a single segment of the liver, allowing your surgeon to treat tumors in multiple places without removing too much of your liver
  • Trisegmentectomy, which removes around 70% of the liver
  • Lobectomy, which removes the entire left or right lobe

Liver resection can be performed laparoscopically or through open surgery. Laparoscopic liver resection is a minimally invasive surgery that requires a few tiny incisions on your abdomen, through which your surgeon inserts a thin tube with a camera (laparoscope). Open hepatectomy is performed through a laparotomy, which makes one large incision on your abdomen. Although a laparoscopic liver resection is associated with less pain and quicker recovery, you may have to undergo an open liver resection depending on factors such as the location of the tumor and previous abdominal operations you have had.

After your liver resection, you will stay in the hospital for up to six days. Your recovery period will vary based on how much of your liver was removed. Limiting consumption of alcohol and light physical activity, such as walking, can help you to have a speedy recovery.

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