Liver Surgical Oncology

If you were recently diagnosed with liver cancer, a medical oncologist will most likely oversee your entire treatment plan. Many patients with liver cancer require surgery. The cancerous portion of the liver can be removed. The medical oncologist will work with a hepato-pancreato-biliary (HPB) to determine if you’re a good candidate for surgery. The most appropriate type of liver cancer surgery will come down to the stage of cancer and your overall health.

Who Performs Liver Cancer Surgery?

Liver cancer surgeries are among the most complex and challenging procedures performed. Due to the required expertise, it’s ideal to have a gastrointestinal (GI) surgeon specializing in liver cancer surgeries perform this procedure. Compass Oncology's treatment team includes a hepato-pancreato-biliary (HPB) surgical oncologist. She is highly specialized in surgeries for both cancer and non-cancerous liver conditions. 

Meet our Liver Surgical Oncologist in Portland-Vancouver 

Determining Liver Cancer Surgery as a Treatment Option

Using CT scans, MRI images, or PET scan results, your surgeon and medical oncologist will review the exact location and size of the cancer to determine if surgery is possible. They will discuss the type of surgery and whether treatments are needed beforehand to shrink the tumor. 

If it is determined surgery is not the right treatment for you, there are other liver cancer treatments available. 

Types of Surgery for Liver Cancer

If your HPB surgeon indicates that surgery is the best option for your liver cancer treatment plan, next is deciding the type of surgery.

Liver Resection

Surgery to remove all or some of the liver is called a hepatectomy. A minimally invasive procedure called a partial hepatectomy may be used to remove the cancerous part of the liver. During a partial hepatectomy, the cancerous portion of the liver is removed along with a portion of healthy tissue. The remaining portion of the liver will take over and function normally and can regenerate over time. If the entire liver is removed, a liver transplant will be needed.

Ablation for Liver Cancer

Several types of ablation exist, including radiofrequency, microwave therapy, percutaneous ethanol injections, cryoablation, and electroporation therapy. At Compass Oncology, we offer radiofrequency ablation.

Radiofrequency ablation involves placing needles directly into the abdomen to reach the tumor. High-energy radio waves heat the needles and destroy the cancerous cells. 

Liver Transplant

While it is not the first choice in treating liver cancer, in some cases, it may be the best treatment to ensure that all cancer is successfully removed.

Liver Conditions that Impact the Ability to Perform Surgery

For some patients, pre-existing medical conditions may affect whether liver cancer surgery can be performed. Cirrhosis, specifically, may make it impossible to perform surgery. While it’s true that most liver cancer patients have cirrhosis, some patients have enough healthy liver tissue for a hepatectomy. Unfortunately, some patients do not have enough healthy tissue remaining after surgery for the liver to function correctly. The oncologist and gastrointestinal surgeon will discuss this with you if needed.

Liver Cancer Surgery at Compass Oncology

If you are located in the Portland, Oregon, or Vancouver, Washington area and have recently been diagnosed with liver cancer, we are here to help. At Compass Oncology, we provide a compassionate and customized approach to your care for both surgical and non-surgical treatments. We offer the expert guidance of a liver cancer surgeon, ensuring you receive the best care possible. Schedule a consultation with our team to go over your options.

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