Surgery of the liver, bile ducts, gallbladder and pancreas are known as hepatobiliary surgery. This is a very specialized type of surgery and surgeons who perform these surgeries work closely with gastroenterologists, radiologists, and oncologists. They treat conditions such as gallstones, gallbladder inflammation or cancer, pancreatic masses, pancreatitis, bile duct cancer, injury, strictures and perform liver surgery for both benign or malignant tumors or lesions.
Hepatobiliary surgeons are general surgeons who have completed additional specialized training and they are experienced in laparoscopic and robotic surgical techniques that are minimally invasive. These newer techniques have played a significant role in advancements in liver surgery that now allow for successful treatment and sparing of liver function and tissue.
Common Conditions Treated Hepatobiliary Surgeons
Gallbladder – dysfunction and gallstones
Surgery to remove gallstones is one of the most common surgeries that a hepatobiliary surgeon will perform. At SurgOne these surgeries are performed robotically as it is the safest and the easiest recovery for the patient. It is an outpatient surgery, so individuals can go home the same day as their procedure, although they often take a few days off work to recover.
Gallbladder dysfunction, also known as biliary dyskinesia, is a condition were the gallbladder stops working effectively. SurgOne has specialists who can diagnose and treat this condition.
Bile Duct – strictures and bile duct cancer
Injury or previous surgery can cause strictures or narrowing in the bile duct from the formation of scar tissue. When this happens the bile duct may need to be reconstructed or the stricture may need to be bypassed to repair the diseased area. Our team uses minimally invasive surgical techniques so that patients can look forward to a favorable outcome after just a short hospital stay.
Liver – lesions and tumors
Lesions and cysts can develop into tumors on the liver. Liver resection surgery is sometimes necessary to remove either benign symptomatic or premalignant lesions, as well as malignant tumors, which can be primary or metastatic in origin. New minimally invasive techniques combined with a highly skilled surgeon allow these surgeries to be performed so that the patient is often able to maintain a functioning liver following surgery.
Hepaticadnoma & Focal Nodular Hyperplasia
Hepaticadnoma is a benign liver tumor that hepatobiliary surgeons diagnose and treat. While it begins as a benign growth, it can turn into cancer if left untreated, so it is recommended to remove these. Focal Nodular Hyperplasia is a congenital condition where lesions are on the liver. As individuals grow and age, they are impacted by hormones which cause these nodules to grow and become symptomatic and then they need to be removed. Both of these conditions usually require the removal or bypass of the affected area of the liver.
Pancreatic cysts are usually benign. However, cysts in the pancreas can cause symptoms and at times they can be pre-cancerous and need to be removed.
Recovering from Hepatobiliary Surgery
Minimally invasive techniques, such as laparoscopic and robotic surgeries have been great advancements for hepatobiliary surgeons. They allow for less blood loss and smaller incisions, and they also result in less pain and allow for a quicker recovery. Many hepatobiliary surgeries are complex, major surgeries. They typically require a few days in the hospital for recovery and can require 2 – 4 weeks off work. Your surgeon will provide guidance around your procedure and what is needed to recover along with recommendations and resources for supportive care.