Liver resection is surgery during which a portion of the liver is removed. The purpose of this procedure is to completely remove the tumor and the surrounding liver tissue so it can be performed in patients with liver cancer limited to 5 cm or less and with no invasion of the tumor on blood vessels. Not many patients can have this surgery because of these strict guidelines.
After a portion of normal liver tissue is removed, the liver can grow back to the normal size in one or two weeks, but if a liver is cirrhotic it cannot grow back so before surgery liver must be biopsied.
After surgery, 30% to 40% of the patient are expected to live five years, but many of these patients can have a recurrence of liver cancer.
Also, 10% of the patients die shortly after surgery because of liver failure, which occurs if the remaining portion of the liver is inadequate.