Liver resection recovery

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Liver resection recovery

by DanaJo on Mon Jan 07, 2008 12:00 AM

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Hello, just wondering if anyone can give me an idea of what recovery from my liver surgery will be like.  I've got mets from my rectum to my liver, only one spot, and the surgeon says he plans to remove about 30% of my liver.  I've never had surgery before at all, so I have no clue what this will be like.  Any input would be appreciated! 

RE: Liver resection recovery

by Cptmac on Mon Jan 07, 2008 12:00 AM

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I had my colon surgery and recovered within 7 days.  However, my liver surgery, which I had exactly 1 month after my colon surgery, I didn't bounce back so quickly.  I had all of the right lobe of my liver resected.

I was in the hospital for three months.  But I was highly sensitive.  I could feel my liver growing and thus felt quessy.  I then got acites and gained 40 lbs in less than a week plus, I had a pump installed and they needed to ensure that was working properly.

However, others have been in and out within a week.  Some people don't need as much of their liver taken out.  Don't get frustrated if your in longer.  Give yourself as much time as you need to recover.  Some people take longer than others. 

RE: Liver resection recovery

by Weadocm on Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:00 AM

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My father had colon resection and 60% of his liver taken. He did great.

There were a few days in the hospital - during which time he didn't even get jaundiced! The key is to keep pain at bay. Don't try to be a hero. The less pain you have the better you heal and faster, so take what they will give you. Dad did have a draining apparatus (can't remember the name for anything!) from his liver for a few extra days and then mom had to do some dressing changes, but it wasn't a big deal.

 All in all when they can get that cancer out of your liver, resection is the way to is 3 years past the surgery and his colon and liver are still clean and he's doing great! Dr. David Geller at UPMC is great liver man!

RE: Liver resection recovery

by Mary_L on Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:00 AM

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Dear DanaJo,

I am having the same operation at the end of this month. I have colon cancer that spread to my liver and I am working with Dr. Eddie Abdalla at M. D. Anderson in Houston. Where is the hospital where are you having surgery?


RE: Liver resection recovery

by Roman22 on Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:00 AM

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Hi, by way of background I have stage IV CRC.
I had a colon resection Nov 06 then it was
discovered I had 7 mets to the liver 5 on the left 2 on the right,that they initially said they could
not operate on.
I have had some great results with Avastin.
13 Folfiri, 9 with Avastin, almost everything was gone and Aug 31/07 the surgeon
did a liver resection (65% removed) to remove the ghost areas.
My oncologist said he never saw such results before Avastin.
even though there is No Evidence of Disease I am having another 12
rounds of Folfox4 adjuvant chemo to get rid of any microscopic seeds. I
also take a ton of supplements.

The liver resection was uneventful taking about 5 hour.The incision is a very long 12 inches.I was in the hospital 13 days.The only reason I wasn't out in 7 days was that I had a lot of fluid draining through the incision, mostly  lower on  the right side. The surgeon added stitches 3 times to try to stop the leaking.When they remove a large chunk of your liver the void fills up with a lot fluid.So even with drain pumps,if you lay on your back gravity causes the fluid to drain out the lowest point of the incision.It wasn't until the second day at home that I spent the whole day on my left side causing a lot of the fluid to drain out through a drain pump in the middle of my chest.That was my only complication.

With respect to pain control I elected to have an epidural instead of the pump.I had used the pump for my colon resection and it work well  but that was a minor incision and a 3 day hospital stay.I am glad that I chose the epidural, it was pain control on auto pilot.I did not need or use any pain medication once I got home.

Because of my incision leakage I had the staples and stitches in for a very long 5 weeks.I was very fatigued and needed a lot of rest.I lost 20lbs.  But 9 weeks after surgery I went deer hunting for 2 weeks.While I didn't do my usual hiking, I did manage to do 6-7 miles every second day.

I hope this helps you on your journey.Please don't hesitate to PM me if you have any questions. Also below is a link to a blog of one of my support group members with his resection experience.


PS:for those that may be wondering, I did not get a deer this year.But it was great to be out in the bush !!     

RE: Liver resection recovery

by andersonpatient on Sat Feb 16, 2008 12:00 AM

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Hi Mary:

How are you doing ? I am having a liver resection by Dr. Abdalla at MDAnderson on 2/26/08, and hoped you could tell me your impression of the care. Thank you for any information.


RE: Liver resection recovery

by rambler on Sun Mar 29, 2009 12:00 AM

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hi im a state 4 colorectal lpatient liver lung and lymphs. due to the advanced stage they could not do surgery or radiaiton. i have been doing 17 months of chemo... 3 days of chemo 4 days recovery and 7 days of good days...i have completed 26 treatments. iam a peatinet at md anderson in houston. i also have been doing vitamin therapy every day thru my mediport for 5 months. i beleive that my disappearance of colon tumor and lungs and lver improvement is accountable to chemo and vitamins. 2 weeks ago i had a cat scan pet scan and mri... i found out friday that they may be able to resect the liver...i will be returning tomorrow back to md to discuss resection and have so more tests. my understanding is that i will be in the hospitolfor 7 days and satying in hotel at hospitol for 14 days and 6 weeks for full recovery. what advice or recommendatiopns would you make?  how did you feel a year later? did you find that you had any major life changes.... look forward to talking to you... should you prefer to talk to me cell is

--Message edited by CancerCompass staff. For personal protection, phone number removed. Consider private reply. Please review CancerCompass Member Guidelines at

...thanks ...david

RE: Liver resection recovery

by flores on Thu Sep 24, 2009 12:00 AM

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My husban has gone through liver resection and has neumonia and is currently in icu.  I wish you the best, good luck!

RE: Liver resection recovery

by dargor on Wed Jun 02, 2010 02:17 AM

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Hello, My name is Darlene and my sister has 2/3rds of her liver removed due to resection surgery. My sister has had one thing go wrong after another. She has had drains  in 3 times and came home after all most 7 weeks in the hospital and still has the one drain. She is very hard on herself as she thinks she is not improving and she is but it is very slow. She is also getting depressed and has been put on meds for pain and depression. She seems to get a low grade fever every now and then and I was wondering if these things happened to you. I know we are all different in our recovery I was wondering if you could take some time and let us know what you had to go through.

Best Regards

A worried sister



RE: Liver resection recovery

by Weadocm on Wed Jun 02, 2010 11:11 AM

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my father did have drains...and one he kept on for quite a while. if she has a fever, you need to check for infection...they can do a blood test to figure that out., dad was lucky b/c he didn't get jaundice....but the drains and depression yes. seriously, the complications can be more depressing than the surgery b/c after surgery, you think you should be 'fixed' but it is a long haul. stay positive and stay on top of the issues so they don't become more pronounced than they should be. hang will be all worth it.

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