Your team of doctors at the UPMC Liver Cancer Center may recommend traditional open liver surgery, depending on the size and location of the tumors.
What to Expect
About open liver resection
Surgeons make an incision across the right upper abdomen, below the ribcage, to remove the tumor.
Length of procedure
Three hours for most surgeries
Four to six hours for more complex surgeries on hard-to-reach or advanced tumors
Length of hospital stay
Four to five days
After Traditional (open) Liver Surgery
After liver surgery
A temporary drain may be placed in the abdomen — below your incision — to drain blood or leaking bile. Bile leaks occur in fewer than 10 percent of liver resections, and usually seal without further intervention. Most people have the drain removed before leaving the hospital.
Once you are awake and have stable vital signs, we will move you to the liver surgery floor — staffed by a team of specially trained medical professionals including:
Pain may be controlled by either:
An epidural catheter placed by the anesthesiologist prior to the operation, or
A postoperative intravenous patient-controlled analgesia pump
Usually by the third day after surgery, you're able to control discomfort with oral pain medicine.
Between 10 and 14 days after surgery, you will typically return for a follow-up visit where your surgeon will:
Examine the incision and have someone remove any surgical staples.
Evaluate your progress, taking into account your activity level, diet, and pain management.
Discuss long-term follow-up plans and any additional therapy.
About three months after surgery, you will usually have a CT scan to make sure that the tumor has not returned.
UPMC Patient Portals
Your health information, right at your fingertips. Select MyUPMC to access your UPMC health information. For patients of UPMC Pinnacle-affiliated doctors, select MyPinnacleHealth.
The portal for all UPMC patients EXCEPT those of UPMC Pinnacle.