Isolated Hepatic Perfusion Treatment

Isolated hepatic perfusion (IHP) is a surgical technique that we use to treat nonresectable liver cancers, meaning liver cancers that cannot be removed with just surgery.

IHP is one way that we treat secondary liver cancers that have metastasized (spread) to the liver from some other primary site, such as colon cancer that has metastasized to the liver from the bowel.  

What Can I Expect During Isolated Hepatic Perfusion?

In IHP, our surgeons infuse an extremely high concentration of chemotherapy into the liver by completely separating the hepatic (liver) circulatory system from the rest of the body’s circulatory system.

  • To separate the liver from the rest of the circulatory system, and to prevent leaks, the surgeon clamps the veins and arteries leading to and from the liver shut.
  • The surgeon then inserts a catheter tube in two places to take the blood out and perfuse the chemotherapy in. 
  • The catheter is secured in both places to create a circuit and is connected to a pump which heats the chemotherapy and continuously circulates it into and out of the liver for about one hour.

This procedure is considered an open surgery because it requires a large incision to expose the inner organs and tissues.

IHP is done in an operating room under general anesthesia to  prevent any chemotherapy from getting out of the liver and into the circulatory system.  

IHP has been found to have a response rate of approximately 60 percent.

Cancer Types Treated With Isolated Hepatic Perfusion:

©  UPMC | Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Supplemental content provided by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions. All rights reserved.

For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. UPMC policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, genetics, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected group status. Further, UPMC will continue to support and promote equal employment opportunity, human dignity, and racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in UPMC programs and activities. This commitment is made by UPMC in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.

Medical information made available on UPMC.com is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, UPMC.com is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

For UPMC Mercy Patients: As a Catholic hospital, UPMC Mercy abides by the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, as determined by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. As such, UPMC Mercy neither endorses nor provides medical practices and/or procedures that contradict the moral teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

© UPMC
Pittsburgh, PA, USA UPMC.com