Liver Resection - Patient Experience

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Did you or a loved one qualify for liver resection and undergo the procedure? Please explain your experience.

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Which patients with liver cancer undergo liver resection?

In patients with liver cancer (Hepatocellular Cancer, HCC), liver resection is limited to patients with one or two small (5 cm or less) tumors confined to the liver with no invasion of the blood vessels. As a result of these strict guidelines, in practice, very few patients with HCC can undergo liver resection. The biggest concern about resection is that following the operation, the patient can develop liver failure. The liver failure can occur if the remaining portion of the liver is inadequate (for example, because of associated cirrhosis) to provide the necessary support for life.

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Comment from: marg, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 10

I had a hepatic hemangioma. It was symptomatic, it was swollen, painful and caused ongoing severe headaches and minor infections. I had liver resection and after 55 percent was removed along with the gallbladder, I had a long adjustment to wellness. Immediately the headaches and infections stopped. It was a difficult recovery, 3 pockets of fluids needed abdominal drains, a chest tube was required to drain fluid around my lung, and 3 weeks of antibiotics were needed. Upon discharge I was several months returning to good health as my insides were in muscle spasms and I was unable to tolerate foods. It's a serious surgery with lots of down time, but I am thankful to the doctors who helped me and especially the nurses who advocated for me when I felt rotten afterwards. Six months later I am still struggling with digestion as the only unresolved problem. I see I traded headaches for tummy aches. I am still off work, it is a long road back to health.

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Comment from: sand1974, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 17

I had liver resection surgery in October 2012, and it was a very tough time. After surgery, I didn't have to go to ICU, because I did so well during surgery. The first night was horrible, because they gave my fentanyl in my pain pump; terrible for pain. The next night I was given Dilaudid, and things started to improve. I got up to walk, and things looked up. I'm told that I will have to have this surgery again, and I'm ready. It took me about a week after I got home, before I was able to really do normal activities.

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