Lenox Hill Surgeons

What to Expect After a Liver Resection

liver resectionA liver resection is a surgery to remove part of a patient’s liver. The liver is unique among all the interior organs in the human body in that it is capable of regenerating, meaning as much as 50 per cent of the liver can be removed during a resection; so long as the other half is healthy, the organ will regenerate over time.

Immediately After Surgery

liver resectionTo access the liver, doctors need to make an incision in the patient’s belly. When the right side of a liver is removed, the gallbladder needs to be removed to allow access.
It is normal for the patient’s belly to be tender and sore for a little while and painkillers might be prescribed. The pain usually subsides after a few weeks, but during that time patients may also experience nausea, irregular bowel movements, constipation, and diarrhea. A small percentage of patients experience a fever and feel persistently tired, weak, and ill.

It is also common for patients to experience numbness around the wound following liver surgery NYC, but this usually wears off over time, although there will always be some numbness where the incision was made and this is perfectly normal.

Recuperating at Home

liver resectionOnce you leave the hospital, it is important that you observe certain precautions. Make sure you get plenty of rest. It is during sleep and relaxation that your body does most of its repair work. You might find yourself becoming tired more easily for a little while and you should always rest when you feel tired; try to do some light exercise, such as going for a short walk, every day. Conversely, avoid strenuous exercise until your doctor clears you for it.

It is usually a good idea to wait until at least eight weeks, unless your doctor says otherwise, before doing any heavy lifting. You may find that coughing produces a sharp pain around the area of the incision. If so, try holding a pillow over your stomach when you cough to lessen the pain.


You should dial 911 if you have any of the following symptoms: losing consciousness, respiratory trouble, sudden chest pain and accompanying shortness of breath, or a severe pain in the belly. These could indicate internal problems and are potentially life-threatening.

For further information, drop into one of our liver surgery NYC clinics for a consultation with one of our doctors.

Contact us at 646-846-1136 to schedule an appointment.

One Response to What to Expect After a Liver Resection

  1. After one year of an amazing Troubleless post surgery of a reasonably small part of my liver, one week in hospital where I walked
    Without too much trouble and hardly any pain, mostly uncomfort, I went back home, went for dozen of check up controls where the assistants of the surgeon seemed satisfied, then on was never called back and started my active life as before cycling progressively from 40km to sometimes hundred once a week, I had no pain worth mentioning except a sort of heaviness in the lower right side which does not seem to go,my wife says she thinks I do too much physical activities, walking the dogs twice a day for an hour
    I have a very good appetite and pretty tempted by a small glass of red wine at dîner time
    What can you make of all this?
    No sono scan yet to evaluate the condition of the liver…
    Will be glad and less worried (yes
    Slightly) if you can tell me what you think
    Thanks a lot

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