Liver Cancer Surgery
The Wake Forest surgical oncology team has expertise in minimally invasive procedures to remove tumors in the liver, also called hepatobiliary surgery. Our surgical oncologists can pinpoint and remove tumors while leaving healthy liver tissue behind. This effort is led by Perry Shen, MD.
Surgical Treatment of Primary and Metastatic tumors of the Liver
Tumors in the liver can be the result of tumors that originate in the liver, called primary liver cancer, or by metastases from other kinds of cancer (such as colorectal cancer or neuroendocrine tumors), known as metastatic liver cancer. Our liver teams are “high volume providers”, which means they see many patients and have substantial experience with complex liver surgery.
Surgical treatment for liver cancer or metastatic cancer at Wake Forest’s Comprehensive Cancer Center will probably be accompanied by other treatments, such as chemotherapy or radiation. Your physicians routinely work as a multidisciplinary team to create a comprehensive treatment plan.
Liver Cancer Surgeries at Wake Forest Baptist
Our expert surgical oncologists perform the following liver cancer surgeries:
- Laparoscopic resections
- Laparoscopic resections with Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA)
- Wedge resections
- Hepatic lobectomy
All of our resections are performed with the assistance of ultrasound probes placed directly on the liver to guide the surgery.
Your surgeons will determine the best method of removing your liver tumor based on imaging scans. The success of a liver tumor removal depends on the following factors:
- Location of the tumor
- Number of masses
- Where the masses are located in the liver
- Amount of liver left after tumor removal
- Experience of the surgical team
The liver is an amazing organ that regenerates (grows back), even after surgery. Only an experienced liver surgeon, like the ones here at Wake Forest, can determine if a liver resection is the best course for your treatment.
Ablation techniques are procedures where your surgeon will burn, or freeze the cancerous portion of the liver. Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a popular method for treating liver cancer: during this procedure, a heat source created through high frequency radio waves will burn the cancerous cells. Your surgical oncologist will provide you with all the information you need to prepare for this procedure. This can be combined with surgery to remove and/or ablate multiple liver tumors.
Intra-arterial Liver Cancer Treatments
Because of the location of some liver tumors, our doctors use a treatment called intra-arterial therapy. Using a catheter threaded through a major vein in your groin, our liver team can pinpoint the exact blood vessel that is “feeding” the tumor, and destroy it. This treatment can be very effective because the medication cuts off the blood supply to the tumor and does not affect the whole body.