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Diseases of the Liver

CONTENTS

Function of your liver

Blood supply to the liver

Diseases of the liver

Surgical treatments

Imaging

Surgical risk factors

Your follow-up care

Disability paperwork

 

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Function of your liver

The liver is important in the digestion of food. It makes bile, which is needed to digest fats. It helps to keep the blood clean and well-maintained. It makes many chemicals important for functions all over the body, and it helps the body to fight infections and to get rid of poisons.

 

Blood supply to the liver

The liver has a unique, dual blood supply. One comes from the portal vein, as already mentioned, and the other from the hepatic artery. The hepatic artery brings to the liver oxygenated blood that comes from the lungs, heart, and branches of the aortic artery

The liver is appropriately situated in the body to directly receive the blood that comes from the intestines (portal vein). With this arrangement, the liver can readily process (metabolize) nutrients absorbed from food as well as other contents of the portal blood. Indeed, because of its numerous biochemical functions, the liver is considered the biochemical factory of the body.

 

Diseases of the Liver

  • Liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma) is a cancer arising from the liver. It is also known as primary liver cancer.

 

  • Focal nodular hyperplasia (FNH) a benign, firm, nodular, highly vascular tumor of the liver, resembling cirrhosis

 

  • Liver hemangioma is a noncancerous (benign) mass that occurs in the liver. A liver hemangioma is made up of a tangle of poorly formed blood vessels.  Liver hemangioma is sometimes called hepatic hemangioma or cavernous hemangioma.

 

Surgical Treatments

  • Laproscopic removal of tumor:  Removal of tumor, using a camera and small instruments.

 

  • Open Surgical removal of tumor:  Removal of tumor, using a larger incision. Used when laproscopic approach is not an option. May require a few more days in hospital to recover.

 

  • Radio Frequency Ablation:  High intensity heat used via probe to burn tumors out.

 

  • Chemo Embolization: Chemotherapy injected directly in tumor, to shrink tumor and kill tumor cells

 

Imaging

Your surgeon may order additional testing, CAT Scans, MRI’s, PET Scans etc. to better visualize the tumor prior to surgery.

 

Day of Surgery

You will receive instructions from our office, weeks before your surgery. You will be given an appointment to meet with anesthesia, and have possible a Chest x-ray, blood work drawn and an EKG before you date of surgery.  You will be asked to have nothing to eat or drink from midnight the night before, ( no hard candies or gum chewing the morning of surgery.) 

  • You will remain in the hospital approximately five days for laproscopic procedures, and seven days for open procedure. 
  • Chemo embolization may be done as an overnight procedure or as an out-patient procedure.

 

Our office hours are Monday to Friday 8-5. After hours please call 794-5265 to be connected to the physician on call for the department.

 

Surgical Risk Factors

Your surgical procedure:

1.  To reduce the risk of infection, you will be given a dose of antibiotics before surgery.

2.  The potential for bleeding is always a risk with surgery. This risk will be discussed with you by your surgeon, before surgery, Due to the risk of bleeding, you will be asked to discontinue any blood thinners, or aspirin five to seven days before the date of your surgery. If you are unable to stop any blood thinners, for medical reasons, you will need to contact you primary care physician.

 

Your Follow-Up Care

Checking Your Incision. You may go home with staples/sutures/drains. You may have a visiting nurse come to your home to teach you how to care for your wound and drain. 

 

You need to call the office if you experience redness/swelling/increased pain at the incision site. Fever/chills/foul smelling drainage/nausea/vomiting, or uncontrolled diarrhea. 

 

You will go home with pain medication which you need to take as directed, your discomfort is expected to decrease over time, and if the pain decreases and then increased, you need to call the office at 413-794-5265.

 

Removing Your Bandage. Wounds kept covered and moist heal faster. You will be instructed to keep wound covered until seen in the clinic for your post op appointment. Once the sutures/staples are removed, you may shower and allow the little pieces of tape fall off by themselves.

 

Activity: You may resume normal every day activity once home, You are not to lift, return to gym, and do any strenuous exercise until seen by you doctor at your post op appointment.

                    

   

Your Follow-up Visit

Please call (413) 794-5265 to schedule a follow-up visit with your doctor.

   Day _________ Date __________

at  _______  am  pm

On the day of your appointment:

Report to Baystate Medical Center
  Damour Cancer Center.

3350 Main St.  Second Floor.

 

Disability Paperwork

If you will need paperwork completed for financial work compensation, please let our office know. Fax your paperwork to 413-794-1764, or call 413-794-5265 to make arrangements.