About Your Liver Surgery Share Print This guide will help you get ready for your liver surgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK). It will also help you understand what to expect during your recovery. Read through this guide at least once before your surgery and use it as a reference in the days leading up to your surgery. Bring this guide with you every time you come to MSK, including the day of your surgery. You and your healthcare team will refer to it throughout your care. Back to top About Your Surgery About your liver Your liver is a large organ located on the right side of your body, just under your ribs (see Figure 1). Your liver has many functions, including: Figure 1. Your liver Figure 1. Your liver Storing and filtering blood. Making bile, which helps with digestion (the breakdown of food), especially of protein and fat. Changing sugar into a form your body can use for energy. Helping your body get rid of waste products. Making the substances that your blood needs to clot. The healthy part of your liver that’s left after surgery will grow larger to replace the part that was removed. Your liver should return to its original size within a few weeks, but it’ll take longer for it to be fully functional. About liver surgery There are several kinds of liver surgeries to treat cancer. The main kinds of liver surgery are: A liver resection. This is a surgery to remove the part(s) of your liver with the tumors. When your surgeon removes a tumor, they’ll also need to take out a small amount of healthy tissue around it. The amount of tissue that will be removed depends on the size and location of the tumor(s). Radio frequency ablation (RFA). This is a procedure to kill cancer cells by heating them to very high temperatures. Microwave ablation. This is a procedure to kill cancer cells by heating them to very high temperatures. Irreversible electroporation. This is a procedure to kill cancer cells using an electric current.

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