What is a liver resection?

This procedure will involve the removal of part of the liver through a cut in the abdomen.


This procedure will require an anaesthetic.

What are the risks of this specific procedure?

There are risks and complications with this procedure.
They include but are not limited to the following:

General risks:

  • Infection can occur, requiring antibiotics and further treatment.
    Bleeding could occur and may require a return to the operating room. Bleeding is more common if you have been taking blood thinning drugs such as Warfarin, Asprin, Clopidogrel (Plavix or Iscover) or Dipyridamole (Persantin or Asasantin).
  • Small areas of the lung can collapse, increasing the risk of chest infection. This may need antibiotics and physiotherapy.
  • Increased risk in obese people of wound infection, chest infection, heart and lung complications, and thrombosis.
  • Heart attack or stroke could occur due to the strain on the heart.
  • Blood clot in the leg (DVT) causing pain and swelling. In rare cases, part of the clot may break off and go to the lungs.
  • Death as a result of this procedure is possible

Specific risks:

  • Excessive bleeding from the liver. This may need further surgery and/or a blood transfusion.
  • Bile can leak from the liver cut surfaces and this can cause abdominal pain and drainage may be necessary.
  • Damage may occur to the bile ducts, which could cause long term problems.
  • Damage of the bowel may occur which may cause leakage of bowel fluid.
  • Especially in a male there may be difficulty passing urine and a tube may need to be inserted in the bladder.
  • Infections such as pus collections can occur in the abdominal cavity. This may need surgical drainage.
  • A weakness can occur in the wound with the development, complete or incomplete, bursting of the wound in the short term, or a hernia in the long term.
  • Adhesions (bands of scar tissue) may form and cause bowel obstruction. This can be a short term or a long term complication and may need further surgery.
  • The bowel movement may be paralyzed or blocked after surgery and this may cause building up of fluid in the bowel with bloating of the abdomen and vomiting. Further treatment may be necessary for this.
  • Increased risk in smokers of wound and chest infections, heart and lung complications and thrombosis.
  • Death in 1 in 100 cases.