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Laparoscopic liver resection? Experiences?

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Old 03-29-2009, 12:24 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Virginia
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Farmgrrl HB User
Question Laparoscopic liver resection? Experiences?

Hello all,

I am wondering if anyone has had a laparoscopic liver resection? My surgery is being scheduled presently and I'm expecting to undergo my procedure in the next 2 to 4 weeks for a ~5.5-6 cm (presumed) hepatic adenoma on the left lobe of my liver. He is planning on taking out an entire segment.

Can you tell me about your experience with this? My surgeon is going to try to remove my tumor by this method but may have to convert it to the traditional open liver resection.

My questions are:
How long was your surgery?
How long was your hospitalization?
What kind of pain control did you receive? Did it work for you?
Did you have the typical tubes (i.e. an NG tube, Foley catheter) that most of the ladies have had with their surgeries?
How long before you returned to work?

My surgeon told me to expect a minimum of 4 days (even if he does it laparoscopically) in the hospital and to be out of work for 6 weeks if he has to do it 'open'. I'm concerned about a lack of pain control. I also worry about my recovery time. I work 12 hours nights. I am wondering about specific work restrictions too.

Thanks so much for any advice in advance!

Last edited by Mod-S4; 05-23-2010 at 12:42 PM.

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Old 04-12-2009, 05:36 AM   #2
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Re: Laparoscopic liver resection? Experiences?

I'm giving this a bump...still looking for any input or helpful advice!


Old 04-18-2009, 07:48 AM   #3
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Holland, MI USA
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Hoekey HB User
Re: Laparoscopic liver resection? Experiences?

Hi Farmgrrl:

I am almost 4 weeks post laprascopic liver resection. I had a "grapefruit" sized FNH removed from the right lobe of my liver and a "golf ball" sized FNH that was attaching to my diaphragm. I had them removed because they were causing me pain, the one on my right lobe was putting pressure on my ribs and I was changing the way I was wearing clothes to be comfortable, they would normally be left alone otherwise. I had a foley for 2 days, no NG tube. But I did have oxygen for the first 24 hours to keep oxygen saturation up. I guess you don't breath deep enough when you are heavily medicated with pain killers. For the first day I had the self-medicating IV but I was so sensitive to it. First is was morphine then they switched to daladin but I couldn't get relief from the itching even with IV benadryl. (I do not know how to spell all of these words so bare with me). I was itching so badly I was starting to break my skin open on my face, chest, and arms. So they got me on oral pain killers as soon as they could. Oxycodone. They had me up and walking the very next day and I was eating food, though my appetite wasn't very good, by lunch time the next day. Once I could get up and use the bathroom on my own they removed the foley. I was in the hospital for a full week, though this is not typical. Most people go home in 4-5 days. I was kept an extra day because my blood work on the 5th day was off so I needed to have an ultrasound to check blood flow. This was on a Saturday and due to short staffing getting the ultra sound done and results back took hours. Then the ultra sound tech did not get the "money shot" and I had to get another one which was done 9 hours later in the wee hours of the night. So I had to stay an extra day. During the night the gases that they blow you up with to do the surgery started to release through my right shoulder. Call me a wimp, but OH MY GOODNESS it hurt. Even IV pain meds wouldn't touch it. My drive home from the hospital is 2 1/2 hours so they let me stay another day to get through it in relative comfort. Had I been home already I would have been okay, just in a lot of pain...but the drive while having that go on would have "killed" me. (Not literally)

The first day, right after surgery is kind of rough, but they try to keep you as comfortable as possible. You don't really remember it anyway. You should start feeling a lot better by day two. They really try to get you up and moving around as soon as possible. This will help in preventing blood clots and pneumonia. You'll be given heparin twice daily to prevent blood clots and you will use your sporameter once per hour. I was able to bring my own comfortable PJs and on day 3 after my first sponge bath I got to wear my own PJS for the rest of my stay. My husband was with me the whole time so by day 4 he could help me take a shower and so that was nice.

I had two JP drains for almost 3 weeks. They are a pain in the rear but you live with it.

I did not have a typical recovery. Four days after coming home I started to run a fever and was put back in the hospital (local this time). I had a little fluid on my right lung, I guess this is typical when they do work by the diaphragm and one of my drains was starting to get infected. My white count was pretty high so I was on IV antibiotics for the 3 days I was there. Then oral augmentin 875mg twice a day.

A little more is going on with me now, but like I said, I have not been typical. So I won't go into all of that. Remember to bring chap stick or the like for your lips, you will need it. I had my legs waxed right before I went in for convenience. Not normally something I would do, but it was worth it.

Feel free to ask any more questions that you have. I'm sure I haven't told you everything that you wanted to know.

Good luck with your procedure!


Just saw the rest of your surgery took just over four hours.
I have not returned to work yet, but again, I have not been typical.

Last edited by Hoekey; 04-19-2009 at 09:52 AM.

Old 04-19-2009, 10:37 PM   #4
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Farmgrrl HB User
Re: Laparoscopic liver resection? Experiences?


Thank you so much for the reply! I knew there had to be someone out there that has been through this. It sounds like you have been through the ringer, but like you said, everyone's experience is different. I am still waiting for my surgery date, as we had to cancel the first one due to unforseen circumstances. So, I am going to meet with my surgeon again next Monday and go from there. I don't know if he will want to do further imaging before scheduling me again. My tumor grew from 2.7 cm in September to the ~5.5 to 6cm size last seen on my MRI in March. Right now, I am just anxious to get this sugery done. I have plenty of concerned family and friends and its frustrating not being able to give anyone a surgery date! For now, I guess I just wait! Being a nurse, I'm quite familiar with the hospital routine but I take care of kids so its a little different. Its VERY different being the patient though! I have previously had my gallbladder removed 6 years ago laprascopically; that was a simple recovery for me. I had back surgery in Dec '07 and that was a bit more complicated. I was out of work for 8 weeks and then worked 4 weeks part time before resuming my normal schedule. I developed a bit of cabin fever and the financial impact hurt too. That being said, I completely wiped out my leave and sick time. Right now, I don't have much time accumulated due to various illnesses this last year (part of the fun of working with kids!); that's part of the reason for my interest in the recovery time.

Again, thanks so much for the great reply!

I hope you are feeling OK and that you continue to recover!

Old 08-03-2010, 10:56 AM   #5
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 2
but53ter HB User
Re: Laparoscopic liver resection? Experiences?

I had liver resection done by lapaoscopy on July 14 at the Cleveland Clinic to remove hepatcellular carcinoma (size was 3 cm.). The cancer was due to Hep c which has been under controll since 1999. Surgery took about 4 hours. I experienced quite a bit of pain, but I'm sure no where near as much if they would have had to cut me. When I woke up from surgery I had a foley and drainage tube from the incision. They removed the foley that evening and the drainage the day I was discharged which was July 17th.

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