What Are the Risks of Liver Cancer Surgery?

Like any type of treatment, liver cancer surgery has certain risks. These risks can vary from procedure to procedure, with less complex and less invasive procedures tending to have lower complication rates. The risks can also vary from person to person, as a patient’s age, weight, blood pressure, cardiovascular health and other similar factors can influence the outcome of his or her operation.

Potential side effects of liver cancer surgery

A potential major side effect of liver cancer surgery is internal bleeding. Large amounts of blood pass through the liver, and the liver also produces substances that help blood to clot. After surgery, blood counts can drop, necessitating a transfusion. Usually, these issues begin to improve within two to five days after surgery.

Other possible risks include:

  • Pain and infection at the incision site
  • Bile leakage
  • Fluid and electrolyte imbalances
  • Blood loss
  • Fluid accumulation in the abdominal cavity
  • Blood clots and deep venous thrombosis (DVT)
  • Complications from the anesthesia
  • Pneumonia
  • Pulmonary embolisms

How to determine if surgery is right for you

If you’re considering liver cancer surgery, your treatment team can help you evaluate the possible benefits and risks of a procedure. A surgical oncologist can review your diagnosis and medical history to help you determine if surgery is an option and, if so, which procedure can potentially produce the best outcome with the fewest complications.

At Moffitt Cancer Center, we perform a number of advanced procedures, including minimally invasive and robot-assisted liver cancer surgeries. Our goal is to help each patient achieve the best possible outcome and quality of life, and this is reflected in our individualized approach to treatment. If you’d like to discuss liver cancer surgery with one of our experienced surgeons, call 1-888-663-3888 or submit a new patient registration form online to request an appointment. You do not need a physician’s referral to request a visit.