Liver surgery is often a tricky procedure as it is recommended only for the patients who are having some serious condition, including cancer. Also, there are several conditions attached in order to undergo liver surgery.

Anatomy And Function Of The Liver

The liver is a large, meaty organ, feels rubbery to touch that is located on the right side of the belly. It is reddish brown in color and weighs approximately 3 pounds and accounts as one of the largest organs of the body. The liver is well protected by the rib cage. The liver comprises mainly, two large sections, namely, the left and the right lobes.

The liver produces the bile, an enzyme responsible for digestion and breaking down fat. Along with its neighbour organs, namely, the gallbladder, pancreas, and intestines, work together for proper digestion. They digest, absorb, and process the food intake.

However, the main role of the liver is to collect the blood from the digestive tract, filter it and then pass it to the rest of the body. Also, it metabolizes drugs and detoxifies chemicals. The liver produces a protein that performs blood clotting and other vital functions as well.

Several Liver Conditions

The following are the medical conditions of the liver that needs treatment.

  • Hepatitis

  • Infection and cysts

  • Liver cancer

  • Liver failure

  • Cirrhosis

  • Ascites

  • Primary biliary cirrhosis

  • Gallstones

  • Hemochromatosis

  • Jaundice

Some of these diseases can be cured completely in due time with proper medical treatment, while for others, the treatment option restricts to the surgery itself.

Risk Factors Associated With Liver Damage

The following factors make an individual more susceptible to develop liver diseases

  • Sharing needles for injecting drugs

  • Consuming alcohol heavily

  • Engaging in unprotected sex

  • Piercing or getting tattoos

  • Being obese

  • Being exposed to other’s body fluid or blood

  • Having a high amount of triglycerides in the blood

Symptoms Of Liver Diseases

The symptoms of any diseased or malfunctioning liver vary from case to case and also on its severity. However, some of the common symptoms which appear in almost any severe case of liver damage are as follows

  • Pale Stools

  • Jaundice

  • Dark urine

  • Excessive fatigue

  • Bruising and swelling

  • Pain in the upper right abdomen, often persistent

Diagnosis Of Liver Conditions

A reliable and accurate diagnosis is often required to evaluate the condition of the liver and also to keep track of the progress of the treatment. Blood tests are the most primary diagnosis carried out to check the possibility of a diseased liver and the extent of its severity.

The following are the most common blood tests that are employed

  • Liver function panel,

  • Alkaline phosphatase,

  • Profile of Bilirubin, Albumin, Ammonia,

  • Hepatitis A, B, and C,

  • Partial Thromboplastin Time (PTT) and several more.

  • If the results indicate a concerned liver issue, then, another serological diagnosis is carried out to confirm the same. These mainly include

  • Ultrasound

  • CT scan

  • Liver and spleen scan

  • Liver biopsy

The Treatment Approach For Diseased Liver

The treatment approach changes drastically depending upon the extent of the disease. Some treatment involves oral medication along with therapy, whereas, others require proper surgical approach for the same. Following are some of the treatment offered to address and cure liver diseases.

  • Hepatitis A treatment

  • Hepatitis B treatment

  • Hepatitis C treatment

  • Liver transplant

  • Gallbladder removal, in case of gallstones

  • Paracentesis

  • Liver cancer treatment

  • Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)

  • Liver resection/ Hepatectomy

Need For Liver Surgery

As already mentioned, opting for the liver surgery is a comparatively difficult decision as many prerequisites are required to reach that conclusion. The liver surgery is called hepatectomy and can either be partial or total. A liver surgery is done mostly done because of the liver tumor (benign or malignant), mainly with the motive to mitigate cancer.

Once in a while, it is also recommended for cysts and stones. It is also performed to treat and curb colorectal cancer, which spread to the liver. Removing the affected portion of liver ensure, cancer does not spread beyond.

The results are quite positive in case the tumor is single in number and has not spread into nearby tissues or blood vessels. Gallbladder removal is yet another closely associated surgical process, especially, if the right side of the liver is being removed.

There are two different approaches of performing the liver surgery, either by traditional open surgery or by laparoscopic surgery. Though the approach usually varies from patient to patient and also by depending upon the disease, most of the procedures are nowadays done by laparoscopic approach.

Dr. Joshi performs laparoscopic liver surgery in Bangalore to address severe liver illnesses. People seek for him, as not many doctors are yet capable and experienced enough to carry out these procedures so effectively.

The Special Case Of Liver Regeneration

There is one particular aspect that must not go unnoticed while discussing liver. The liver is the only internal organ in a human body that is capable of regeneration. It means that once a. Though the liver exhibits compensatory regeneration and not true regeneration. Meaning, once a portion of the liver is surgically removed, it grows back, but only to restore its function and not its shape and form.

However, if the liver is sliced along with its lobes removed, it loses the ability to regenerate and remains so. Otherwise, in a healthy case, the liver can regenerate from as little as 40 percent of its actual volume and mass.