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Liver Resection Recovery

mbadgle's picture
Posts: 19
Joined: Oct 2008

Hi Everyone. I put a post out on the discussion board a few weeks ago. Regarding diets. I joined the discussion board about a month ago. Even though I dont add very many comments I do read quite a few of the posts put out. I cant say how much this forum means.
Just a quick review of my life since January 08. A routine colonoscopy showed several tumors in my right portion of my colon. I had 18 inches of my colon removed. A CT scan that was done after the colonoscopy showed a small tumor on my left kidney. Luckily the tumors were not related and they were able to remove the kidney tumor and leave 90% of my kidney. In September I found out the colon cancer had gone into my liver. I am will be doing my 3rd chemo treatment next week with one more to follow.

I will see a liver surgeon in early December to schedule a liver resection to remove my right lobe. You would think with me already having two major surgeries this year, I would not be nervous about this next up coming surgery. I should be a pro by now.

I was curious those that have had a liver resection could post and let me know how their recovery went. At this time I am not sure if the resection will be done laporoscopy or if they will have to cut me open more. My kidney surgery left about a 12 inch scar on my left side. I can tell you it wasnt easy getting out of bed on that one. But I forced myself and I of course bounced back much quicker. It was hard, but I knew I had to do it.

I would appreciate any response back. And again, I cant say how much this site and the folks on it mean to me in staying positive and beating this.


tootsie1's picture
Posts: 5054
Joined: Feb 2008

I've not had a liver resection, but I just want to wish you the best and let you know that I will be praying for you to have strength in this battle.


mbadgle's picture
Posts: 19
Joined: Oct 2008

Hi Gail
Thanks for the prayers. I have alot of reasons to stay positive and to beat this. I have five grandkids I want to be around now and when they are grown.

CherylHutch's picture
Posts: 1399
Joined: Apr 2007

Hey Mike, I haven't had a liver resection either, but I know others will be around soon to fill you in on how it went. I just wanted to say the fact you have gone through what you have since January, you already are a pro and a fighter! If the doctors didn't think you or your body could handle another surgery, they would hold off putting you through it until your body could. So, from a recovery point of view, I think you should rest easy ... if the doctors think you can handle it, then you will be able to handle it with bells and whistles :)

No surgery should ever be taken lightly and passed off as "Oh, it was nothing"... because surgery is a big thing, no matter what kind it is. But our bodies are absolutely amazing machines... even those of us who can't say we are in tip top, athletic shape ;) I find it quite fascinating how, when we want something bad enough, our bodies seem to come through for us... so keep up that fighting spirit!! :)



Kanort's picture
Posts: 1275
Joined: Jan 2004

Hi Mike,

I have no experience with a liver resection, but I know there are many here who have and are cancer free right now. I am sending you my best healing wishes and prayers for a successful surgery and quick recovery. Your medical team sounds like they have a great plan mapped out for you.



Monicaemilia's picture
Posts: 455
Joined: Nov 2006

Hi Mike: I've had 70% of my liver resected. I had a cut right across my stomach. I would say that it took about 6 weeks before I could pick up my son and get around without any pain, and about 6 months before it was a memory. The pain itself right after the surgery was managed by pain meds. I would think that with the surgeries you already had, this one would be about the same. I've had three and I've always rebounded the same way. As you said, you are pro. You'll get through this curative surgery with flying colours. Good luck. Monica

jenhopesprays's picture
Posts: 129
Joined: Sep 2007

Hi Mike,

I had a liver resection last December. The doc took out 2 tumors by wedge resection. It was an open surgery. They did a J cut along the base of my right rib. The doctor, a liver transplant specialist, said that the was the best way to get access. I'm all about access.

While they are in there they do an ultrasound of your liver to see if they can spot anything else.

Recovery is probably much like your kidney surgery. Maybe another scar. I was hunched over for a while. I lost a bit of weight.

Email me anytime if I can give you more info.


mbadgle's picture
Posts: 19
Joined: Oct 2008

Thanks Monica and Jen for responding. I was wanting to find a support group when I found out I went from a Stage 2a in June to 4 in September. This discussion board has made that possible. I cant thank everyone enough who post here and give us their experiences. It really helps.
Was there a restricted diet or restrictions in general for a while til the liver was back to normal function?


impactzone's picture
Posts: 504
Joined: Aug 2006

Hey there,
I am stage 4 and had a liver resection done in Feb of 07 at Stanford. I am a 47 year old man. For me, it was the toughest one to come back from. I had colon, and lung as well. I was hunched over for a while (3 - 4 weeks) and then about week 6 felt back to normal. I was able to go back to work on week 4 with no heavy lifting. I am a high school teacher. For me the pain wasn't bad, it was just kinda a constant discomfort that made it hard to rest. The pain meds led to constipation and that was very difficult so after 1 week it was just tylenol. You are right, the more walking you do the better. The only truly painful part was taking out the drian in the hospital on day 5 (when I left) as I wasn't on a pain pump then and it was only for an instant. You can do it!

lisa42's picture
Posts: 3661
Joined: Jul 2008

Hi Mike,

I had a liver resection done this past May. About 50% of my liver was removed, which ended up being my entire left lobe (it's the smaller of the two lboes), and two wedge resections for two tumors in my right lobe (as well as my gall bladder, which was normal, but then would have been hanging by a thread if it hadn't been removed).
Because of the extent removed, I could not have it done laporoscopically. My doctor also told me an advantage of having it done traditionally over laporoscopically, though. He was able to physically pull out my entier liver during surgery and physically examine it, as well as move a handheld ultrasound wand over it to check for anytbing else. Well, he did indeed find an additional 3 tumors while doing this, which were then able to be removed at the same time. I asked him how three tumors could have been missed with all the scans I've had & he said it can happen when they're like mine were- somewhat small size, not very dense and near just under the surface. So, I originally thought going in I was getting liver tissue removed that held 3 tumors, but it ended up being 6. (I actually started with 12 tumors back when I was first diagnosed, several of which shrunk away during chemo- I guess I probably actually had 15 in my liver then).
My recovery went very well. I felt HORRIBLE for the first couple of weeks, but was amazed at how well and quickly I bounced back after that. No complications of any kind, thank goodness.
2-1/2 months later, I went on a family vacation which included riding a horse and doing whitewater rafting in Colorado. I was fine after each event too!
Best wishes to you!!!

dixchi's picture
Posts: 438
Joined: Jun 2008

i had a liver resection in July this year and was surprised that recovery was not
too difficult. It did not take any longer than my colon resection in 2004. But
I do have a two large scars on my stomach area and still do experience some pain and
achiness from the adhesions or whatever when I lift anything etc. which has been
a lot recently since I am cleaning out my house of 20 years of accumulation of stuff.
There are stretching exercises you can do to help but you should wait several weeks
after surgery and get dr. ok before starting to work on that. I am still taking
a pain medication at night if I have overdone the stomach area during the day.
As was mentioned in a previous post, I also got traditional surgery on this,
not laproscopy, because it was easier and much clearer access to eveything. They
also removed my gallbladder.

mbadgle's picture
Posts: 19
Joined: Oct 2008

Thanks to Everyone for the information. I think I would prefer they take the liver out and examine it. When I see the liver surgeon in December that will be one of the questions I make sure I ask. Thanks for some really good information. I do love those pain pumps. They do make those first few days after surgery bearable. I had a drain tube with my kidney surgery and I do remember there was definitely some pain when they took it out. Again Thanks all!!!!!

Posts: 1048
Joined: Jan 2007

Wishing you good luck and success . My husband had a liver resection a year ago. It was a wedge resection rather than a lobectomy. Open surgery, not laproscopic. He was in the hospital for 5 days and recovery was about 6 weeks. He did not have to go to intensive care as was originally planned. His recovery and surgery went very smooth. It is a large scar roughly 15-18 inches and the staples were not pleasant but he was back to work after the 6 weeks, and he felt very good about a week after the surgery . Good luck . I hope it goes as smooth for you. Keep us posted. God Bless

Posts: 1
Joined: Dec 2009

Hi Mike,

I think you may have met with your liver surgeon by now and hopefully have a date locked in for your surgery. I am a 30 year old female and I had a liver resection three weeks ago to remove a tumour.

I was in intensive care for 24 hours after my operation and then moved to a general surgical ward. Total of seven days in the hospital. My pain was managed with a morphine pump in a central line (stopped after 5 days), and a direct line into the incision (removed after four days).

Since leaving the hospital two weeks ago i have been taking paracetamol and morphine in tablet form to manage my pain. Three weeks after the operation I can move around ok and drive etc. Although some things are still difficult and I get very tired if I try to do too much.

I have a scar on my stomach, starting under my breast bone which runs about two inches down and then does a right angle and runs about 8 inches across my stomach to my right side. My surgeon used stitches and not staples to close.

I would like to wish you all the best for your surgery and your recovery.


Posts: 9
Joined: Nov 2011

Hi Elef?

Hope this message finds well and happy.

My mother has been diagnosed with HCC (hep b; c and cirrhosis) and doctors have suggested us resection or banding.

Have you had any other things except tumor?
How was your experience after this surgery. How are you feeling today?

Thanks in advance.

John23's picture
Posts: 2141
Joined: Jan 2007

This thread is from 2008. Please do not post to old threads.

Thank you, and best wishes for better health,


Posts: 198
Joined: Nov 2009

For me it went very slow. The actual scar and surgery was not that bad. I went home on the eigth day but I could hardly walk. It took me about a month (just as my surgeon had predicted) to get back to a normal energy level. I was off work for about three weeks. It was alot more intense than I expected. Having had a few surgeries I felt like an old pro but this surgery took some recovery.

lesvanb's picture
Posts: 911
Joined: May 2008

Hi Mike

Last October I had a liver resection for the one met in which my right lobe plus gall bladder was removed. I was in surgery 2.5 hrs-which was quicker then the surgeon expected-and then went to surgical ICU for two days before transferring to a special care unit for another 3 days and then to the regular floor and was discharged 6 days after surgery. I was standing with help next to the bed 3 hrs after surgery and continued to walk during the stay at the hospital. Blood parameters were monitored a lot. This surgery was harder than the LAR to recover from. I had an L shaped scar from the open surgery (a drain tube was placed during surgery and removed before discharge) and it was harder to move around. It seemed that I had less control of my bladder as well and wore adult diapers for more than a week after discharge. Though I returned to work 2 weeks after discharge form the LAR it was three-four weeks after the liver resection. I was also more fatigued, though was able to get out and walk with poles nearly every day. I started chemo 8 weeks after surgery.

Hope this helps, and feel free to ask more questions.


PS I'm doing very well now, still NED.

Posts: 25
Joined: Sep 2009

my mom had a liver ressection september 17th and her recovery went very smooth...she did have some fluid in her lungs and had to have that drained but thank god all is well.she had probably a 24 to28 inch scar from under her right breast down and then to the right. good luck and god bless.

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