Laparoscopic liver resection is a minimally invasive procedure to remove benign tumours and cysts in the liver, or cancerous liver tumours such as hepatocellular carcinoma.
In comparison to an open procedure, the laparoscopic method can efficiently and safely remove a liver mass using smaller incisions, allowing for quicker recovery and better cosmetic results for patients.
How it works
Laparoscopic liver resection uses a camera-like tool called a laparoscope. It allows a surgeon to view and guide instruments to remove the parts of the liver affected by medical conditions like benign and malignant liver tumours.
Why do you need laparoscopic liver resection?
The aim of a liver resection is to remove benign or cancerous masses found in the liver.
A laparoscopic approach to liver resection is sometimes preferred over an open one as it may be more cost-effective and has less downtime, resulting in faster recovery for the patient.
Liver resection scars
The benefits of laparoscopic liver resection also includes less scarring and pain as compared to an open surgery, as smaller incisions (usually around 4 – 6) will be made during the procedure.
Who should not undergo laparoscopic liver resection?
Laparoscopic liver resection is not suitable in patients who cannot tolerate the increased abdominal pressure needed during the laparoscopic surgery, or in situations where there is a higher chance of cancer being left behind.
In some cases, it may not be technically feasible or safe for the patient, and open surgery may be preferred.
What are the risks and complications of laparoscopic liver resection?
The risks of laparoscopic liver resection include:
Some blood loss during the surgery, with low likelihood of blood replacement
Bruising on the skin site where incisions are made
Infection of the wound which can be managed by antibiotics post-surgery
How do you prepare for a laparoscopic liver resection?
Prior to the surgery (pre-operative period), an anesthesiologist will discuss with you on the following:
Pain management during and after the procedure
Mealtimes, including your fasting period, before the procedure
On the day of your procedure, you may be reminded to:
Take a shower before the surgery
Not shave hairs on your abdominal area
Remove any nail polish
Remove contact lenses
What can you expect in a laparoscopic liver resection?
The procedure usually lasts 2 – 6 hours.
Before the procedure
You will be hooked to an intravenous line and your anesthesiologist will make you comfortable and let you sleep during the surgery.
During the procedure
The surgeon will use the laparoscope to remove the masses in your liver. The number of incisions ranges from 4 – 6, and the incision sizes 5mm – 12mm. One of the incisions will be enlarged to allow removal of the liver that has been cut out.
After the procedure
You will be taken to your recovery room and the medical team will ensure you are awake and comfortable. Some patients may have small surgical tubes attached to drain some fluids from the incision sites. The tubes will be removed by the medical team after a few days.
Care and recovery after a laparoscopic liver resection
Most patients can return home 2 – 7 days after the procedure, depending on the complexity of the surgery.
You will have a follow-up visit with your surgeon 10 – 14 days after your surgery. In addition, your healthcare team will also evaluate your nutritional status and give you advice on the level of physical activity you can do over the next few weeks.
Why choose Mount Elizabeth Hospitals?
Mount Elizabeth Hospitals have over 40 years of experience in providing quality healthcare to patients, utilising up-to-date technology and offering a modern healing environment to manage and treat a wide variety of conditions.
Our skilled and experienced specialists in Singapore are able to offer customised treatment plans to help you achieve your desired health goals.
Our general surgeons
We have general surgeons experienced in performing procedures such as laparoscopic liver resection to help achieve your health goals and protect your well-being. Supported by a team of multidisciplinary specialists, we strive to deliver timely and compassionate care to all patients.