Are you anticipating hepatobiliary surgery in the near future. Hepatobiliary surgery treats a variety of illnesses related to the liver, pancreas, and bile ducts. If you are anticipating hepatobiliary surgery in your future, you might feel a variety of emotions. Going under the knife for any reason can be scary, and hepatobiliary surgery is no exception.
One thing that sometimes helps patients feel more confident going into liver surgery is removing the mystery from it. When you know what to expect, you don’t have to fear the unknown at least. If we’ve described you, you might find the list of commonly asked questions we’ve provided the answers to, below, helpful.
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Liver or Pancreas Surgery
- Is hepatobiliary surgery safe?
If this were 20 years ago or so, you might be looking at a significant risk when you undergo hepatobiliary surgery. However, the areas of liver and pancreatic surgery have progressed more in recent decades than possibly any other branch of medicine. Now, for the most part, liver and pancreatic surgery is fairly safe and patients recover well from it.
The important factor is making sure that the surgeon who performs your surgery is experienced and equipped for the job. Look for a liver and pancreatic surgeon who has ample expertise performing the exact procedure that you’re undergoing, and who you feel comfortable asking any question that crosses your mind. A good surgeon should be happy to answer any questions that you might have, so that you feel confident going into the operating room.
- Is a blood transfusion necessary after undergoing hepatobiliary surgery?
As long as the surgery goes as planned, you will not need a blood transfusion. Of course, every person is different, and even the best surgeon isn’t a fortune teller. Sometimes unexpected circumstances arise that make it necessary. If this were to happen, your surgeon is equipped to administer any life saving measure necessary, including blood transfusions.
- How much recovery time in the hospital is required after undergoing hepatobiliary surgery?
Of course, the necessary hospital stay depends on the circumstances of your hepatobiliary surgery and your own health. Generally though, you’ll need to stay in the hospital for seven to ten days after undergoing hepatobiliary surgery. If any unexpected complications arise during or after surgery, you might need to stay longer. The hospital is the best place to be to receive the care you need until you are in better shape.
- What complications could arise through hepatobiliary surgery?
Any type of surgery comes with a set of risks that you face. When you go under anesthetic, the powerful drugs used to “put you under” could cause a negative reaction. The level of risk associated with anesthetic depends on your health going in to surgery, as well as how significant the surgery is.
There are also some risks that arise specifically for liver surgery. One of the more common complications is leakage of bile from the liver. This complication is relatively easy to resolve, without the need for further surgery. On rare occasions, patients who undergo liver surgery could develop infected fluid that pools on the surface of the liver. This complication is repaired by draining it from the liver, under local anesthetic.
Also, as the liver bounces back after surgery, you might become slightly jaundiced. This can cause confusion or drowsiness. This is a temporary complication that usually resolves itself quickly.
- Can the liver regenerate itself after surgery?
Unlike many other organs in the body, the human liver holds the ability to regrow itself after surgery (or damage). The time it takes your liver to regrow itself depends on the shape that you’re in before you undergo surgery, and how much of your liver is removed in surgery. If your liver is healthy and you lead a healthy lifestyle prior to going into surgery, you could have as much as 85% of your liver removed, and it will still be about to regenerate itself eventually.
Undergoing surgery for any reason is stressful. Liver and pancreatic surgery is no different. If you are in need of hepatobiliary surgery, you might feel uneasy about getting the necessary procedure. The best way to prepare yourself is to completely understand what is being done to you and what to expect for recovery.