Blog Image

Surgical Options for Liver Cancer

24 Nov, 2023

Blog author iconHealthtrip Team

Liver cancer, a formidable adversary, demands a strategic approach to treatment. Among the myriad of options, surgical interventions stand out as powerful weapons in the fight against this disease. In this guide, we will explore three prominent surgical techniques - Resection, Transplantation, and Ablation - shedding light on their unique attributes, benefits, and considerations.

Transform Your Beauty, Boost Your Confidence

Find the right cosmetic procedure for your needs.

Healthtrip icon

We specialize in a wide range of cosmetic procedures


1. Liver Resection: Cutting Out the Cancer

Liver resection is a surgical procedure performed to remove a portion of the liver affected by cancer. This intervention is typically considered when the tumor is localized, and the rest of the liver is deemed healthy enough to function adequately without the removed portion. Here's a detailed exploration of when liver resection is needed, the full procedure, and related considerations:

Calculate Treatment Cost, Check Symptoms, Explore Doctors and Hospitals

Indications for Liver Resection:

1. Localized Tumors: Liver resection is most effective when the cancer is confined to a specific area of the liver.

2. Good Liver Function: Patients with sufficient liver function are often considered suitable candidates for resection.

3. Tumor Size and Location: The size and location of the tumor play a crucial role in determining the feasibility of resection. Smaller tumors in accessible areas are more amenable to this approach.

4. Absence of Extensive Cirrhosis: Extensive cirrhosis or scarring of the liver may limit the success of resection.

Most popular procedures in India

Total Hip Replacemen

Upto 80% off

90% Rated


Total Hip Replacement (Unilateral)

Total Hip Replacemen

Upto 80% off

90% Rated


Total Hip Replacement (B/L)

Total Hip Replacemen

Upto 80% off

90% Rated


Total Hip Replacement-B/L

ASD Closure

Upto 80% off

90% Rated


ASD Closure

Liver Transplant Sur

Upto 80% off

90% Rated


Liver Transplant Surgery

Preoperative Evaluation:

1. Imaging Studies: CT scans, MRI, and ultrasound help precisely locate the tumor and assess its size and relationship with nearby blood vessels.

2. Liver Function Tests: Blood tests measure liver function, ensuring that the remaining liver can adequately perform essential functions.

3. Cardiopulmonary Evaluation: Assessing the patient's cardiovascular and respiratory health is crucial for determining their ability to undergo surgery.

The Liver Resection Procedure:

1. Anesthesia: The patient is administered general anesthesia to ensure they are unconscious and pain-free during the surgery.

2. Incision: A surgical incision is made in the abdomen, usually a large incision below the ribcage (open surgery) or minimally invasive incisions (laparoscopic or robotic-assisted surgery).

3. Liver Mobilization: The liver is carefully mobilized, and blood vessels supplying the section to be removed are clamped to minimize bleeding.

4. Resection: The identified portion of the liver containing the tumor is removed, ensuring a margin of healthy tissue is also taken to reduce the risk of cancer recurrence.

5. Closure: The incision is closed using sutures or staples, and a drainage tube may be placed to drain any accumulated fluid.

Postoperative Care:

1. Recovery: Patients typically spend a few days in the hospital for postoperative monitoring and recovery.

2. Pain Management: Pain medication is provided to manage postoperative discomfort.

3. Monitoring Liver Function: Regular monitoring of liver function helps ensure that the remaining liver is functioning adequately.


a. Targeted Removal: Liver resection allows for the precise removal of localized tumors, addressing the cancer at its source
b. Preservation of Liver Function: As only a portion of the liver is removed, this technique allows for the preservation of a significant portion of liver function.
c. Quick Recovery: Compared to more extensive procedures, liver resection often results in a quicker recovery for eligible patients.

Considerations and Potential Complications:

1. Risk of Bleeding: Given the vascular nature of the liver, there is a risk of bleeding during and after the procedure.

2. Infection: Infections are a potential concern postoperatively.

3. Liver Failure: In rare cases, removal of a significant portion of the liver may lead to liver dysfunction.

Liver resection is a well-established and effective treatment option for localized liver cancer. Success depends on careful patient selection, thorough preoperative evaluation, and skilled surgical execution. It is crucial for patients to discuss the potential risks and benefits with their healthcare team to make informed decisions about the most appropriate treatment for their specific case. Always consult with healthcare professionals for personalized advice and guidance tailored to your unique circumstances.

Liver Transplantation: Swapping Out the Troubled Organ

Liver transplantation is a complex surgical procedure that involves replacing a diseased or damaged liver with a healthy liver from a deceased or, in some cases, a living donor. This procedure is considered when liver disease is severe and irreversible. Let's delve into the details of when liver transplantation is needed, the full procedure, and important considerations:

Indications for Liver Transplantation:

1. End-Stage Liver Disease (ESLD): Liver transplantation is often considered when the liver is severely damaged and no longer able to function properly.

2. Liver Cancer: In certain cases of liver cancer, transplantation may be recommended, especially when tumors are within certain size and number criteria.

3. Acute Liver Failure: For cases where the liver suddenly and severely fails, transplantation may be the only life-saving option.

4. Chronic Liver Diseases: Conditions such as cirrhosis, hepatitis, and genetic liver disorders that lead to progressive liver damage may necessitate transplantation.

Preoperative Evaluation:

1. Liver Function Tests: Comprehensive assessment of liver function to determine the extent of damage and overall liver health.

2. Imaging Studies: CT scans and MRIs help evaluate the liver's structure, identify tumors, and assess blood flow.

3. Cardiopulmonary Evaluation: Assessment of cardiovascular and respiratory health to ensure the patient can withstand the surgery.

4. Psychosocial Assessment: Evaluation of the patient's mental and emotional well-being, as well as support systems in place.

The Liver Transplantation Procedure:

1. Donor Matching: identification of a suitable donor liver, either from a deceased donor or a living donor.

2. Anesthesia: The recipient is administered general anesthesia to induce unconsciousness during the surgery.

3. Removal of Diseased Liver: The recipient's diseased liver is carefully removed.

4. Implantation of Donor Liver: The healthy donor liver is transplanted, and blood vessels and bile ducts are connected to the recipient.

5. Closure: The incision is closed, and the patient is moved to the recovery area.

Postoperative Care:

1. Immunosuppressive Medications: Patients are prescribed immunosuppressive drugs to prevent the immune system from rejecting the transplanted liver.

2. Monitoring: Intensive postoperative monitoring is essential to detect and manage any complications.

3. Rehabilitation: Physical therapy and rehabilitation are often necessary to aid recovery.


a. Complete Removal of Cancer: Liver transplantation provides a comprehensive solution by replacing the entire diseased liver with a healthy one, removing all cancer cells.

b. Potential Cure: For certain patients, especially those with liver failure or specific liver cancers, transplantation offers the potential for a cure.

c. Resolution of Underlying Conditions: In cases of chronic liver diseases, transplantation addresses the underlying condition, offering a holistic treatment approach.

Considerations and Potential Complications:

1. Rejection: The immune system may recognize the transplanted liver as foreign and attempt to reject it, requiring ongoing immunosuppression.

2. Infection: Immunosuppressive medications increase the risk of infections.

3. Biliary Complications: Issues with the bile ducts connecting the liver and intestines may occur.

4. Post-Transplant Recurrence: In some cases, underlying conditions may recur in the transplanted liver.

Liver transplantation is a lifesaving procedure for individuals with severe liver disease. Successful outcomes depend on careful donor matching, skilled surgical teams, and diligent postoperative care. It is crucial for patients to have a thorough understanding of the procedure, potential risks, and lifelong commitments, including adherence to medications and follow-up appointments. Consultation with a transplant team is essential to determine eligibility and explore the best course of action based on individual health circumstances.

HealthTrip world-class medical care and advanced treatments in the fight against liver cancer. Explore our global network of top-tier healthcare providers. Your journey to healing begins with HealthTrip – where your well-being is our priority. Contact us today and embark on the path to recovery.

3. Ablation Techniques: Precise Destruction of Cancer Cells

Ablation techniques are innovative and minimally invasive procedures designed to target and destroy cancer cells within the liver. These methods, including radiofrequency ablation (RFA), microwave ablation, and cryoablation, offer a compelling alternative when surgery is not feasible or when patients have multiple tumors. Let's delve into the specifics of when ablation techniques are recommended, the procedure itself, and essential considerations:

Indications for Ablation Techniques:

1. Inoperable Tumors: Ablation is often considered when surgical resection is not possible due to the size or location of the tumor.

2. Multiple Tumors: Patients with multiple small tumors may benefit from ablation, providing a less invasive option compared to surgery.

3. Unsuitable for Surgery: Individuals who are not suitable candidates for surgery due to underlying health conditions may find ablation a viable alternative.

Ablation Techniques:

Ablation techniques, such as radiofrequency ablation (RFA), microwave ablation, and cryoablation, stand as innovative and minimally invasive procedures aimed at targeting and destroying cancer cells within the liver. This approach becomes particularly relevant when surgery is impractical or when patients present with multiple tumors. In this exploration, we will delve into when ablation techniques are recommended, the procedures involved, and key considerations.

Indications for Ablation Techniques:

1. Inoperable Tumors: Ablation becomes a viable option when surgical resection is deemed impractical due to tumor size or location.

2. Multiple Tumors: Patients with numerous small tumors may benefit from ablation, offering a less invasive alternative to surgery.

3. Unsuitable for Surgery: Individuals with underlying health conditions that render them unsuitable candidates for surgery may find ablation to be a feasible option.

Ablation Techniques:

1. Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA):

  • A probe delivers high-frequency electrical currents to the tumor, generating heat and causing localized thermal destruction of cancer cells.
  • Precise targeting; minimally invasive when performed percutaneously.
  • Limited to smaller tumors; potential for incomplete tumor eradication.

2. Microwave Ablation:

  • Microwaves heat and destroy cancer cells, allowing for a larger zone of ablation compared to RFA.
  • Rapid heating; effective for larger tumors.
  • Requires careful monitoring to prevent overheating adjacent structures.

3. Cryoablation:

  • Extreme cold applied through a probe forms ice crystals, leading to the destruction of cancer cells.
  • Minimally invasive; suitable for various tumor sizes.
  • Potential for damage to adjacent structures; may require multiple sessions.

Preoperative Evaluation:

1. Imaging Studies: CT scans or ultrasound help precisely locate the tumor and assess its size and proximity to vital structures.

2. Patient Health Assessment: Evaluation of overall health to determine the patient's ability to undergo the procedure.

Postoperative Care:

1. Monitoring: Post-ablation imaging assesses the procedure's effectiveness and ensures no residual disease.

2. Pain Management: Mild discomfort or pain at the ablation site can be managed with appropriate medications.


a. Minimally Invasive: Ablation techniques, such as radiofrequency ablation (RFA) and microwave ablation, are minimally invasive, reducing the trauma associated with surgery.

b. Suitable for Multiple Tumors: Ablation is often suitable for patients with multiple small tumors, providing an alternative when resection may not be feasible.

c. Quick Recovery: Patients undergoing ablation techniques typically experience a quicker recovery period compared to more invasive surgical procedures.

Considerations and Potential Complications:

1. Incomplete Ablation: Risk of leaving behind viable cancer cells, necessitating additional treatments.

2. Damage to Surrounding Structures: Ablation may inadvertently damage nearby blood vessels or organs.

3. Pneumothorax (Cryoablation): Potential risk of a collapsed lung in cryoablation cases.

Ablation techniques provide a less invasive yet highly effective approach to treating liver cancer. Successful outcomes hinge on careful patient selection, thorough preoperative evaluation, and close postoperative monitoring. Consultation with a multidisciplinary team of specialists is crucial to determine the most appropriate treatment plan based on individual health circumstances and the characteristics of liver tumors.

The choice of surgical intervention for liver cancer depends on various factors, including the stage of the cancer, the patient's overall health, and the availability of donor organs. Consultation with a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals is crucial to determine the most appropriate approach.

If you or a loved one is facing the challenge of liver cancer, understanding these surgical options is the first step toward informed decision-making. Empower yourself with knowledge, consult with specialists, and pave the way for a comprehensive treatment plan tailored to your unique circumstances.

For more in-depth insights and personalized guidance, reach out to our team of experts who are dedicated to helping you navigate the complex landscape of liver cancer treatment. Your journey towards healing begins with knowledge, and we are here to support you every step of the way

Healthtrip icon

Wellness Treatments

Give yourself the time to relax


Lowest Prices Guaranteed!

Treatments for Weight loss, Detox, Destress, Traditional Treatments, 3 day healthtrip and more

95% Rated Great Experience and Relaxing

Get in touch
Please fill in your details, Our experts will get in touch with you


Liver transplantation is considered for end-stage liver disease, specific liver cancers, acute liver failure, and chronic liver diseases.