Surgery is known as the best treatment option that can cure liver cancer. However, surgery can be done in patients who have the earliest stages of liver cancer (Stage I & II). There are different methods of surgery that can be done but the method used depends on factors like size of tumor, where the cancer is present, how far the cancer has spread, working condition of the liver and the overall health of the person.
When is surgery used for liver cancer
It is important to understand that the treatment of surgery might be used if the person has cirrhosis or if the liver is damaged. Surgery is also not a choice if the cancer has spread outside the liver. But the person might be a candidate for surgery if, the cancer is only in one part of the liver and is not extended to major blood vessel and if the cancer is present only in the liver but has not spread. Surgery might also be done if the liver is not healthy enough for a hepatectomy, so the entire liver is removed for a liver transplant.
What are the types of surgery used in the treatment of liver cancer?
The removal of a part of the liver is known as a partial hepatectomy. This kind of a surgery is usually considered if only a single tumor is present and if the tumor has not grown into the blood vessels of the liver. This surgery is also only conducted if the patient has good liver function and is healthy enough for surgery. Most people do not have this type of a surgery because the cancer has either spread to far or if the liver is not healthy enough to withstand the surgery.
Liver transplant can be an option for those people who have tumors that cannot be surgically removed. In general it is used to treat patients with small tumors but this option can also be used to treat patients with resectable cancers.
See more on side effects of surgery in the treatment of liver cancer here.