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Liver

Trust the experts of Novant Health in critical liver surgeries

The liver, the largest organ inside your body, has many jobs, including changing food into energy and cleaning alcohol and poisons from the blood. Your liver also makes bile, a yellowish-green liquid that helps with digestion.

Surgical procedures of the liver

Liver resection – This is the surgical removal of part of the liver containing liver cancer, some benign masses, and certain cancers that have spread to the liver. More than half of your liver can be removed as long as the rest is healthy. Frequently the gallbladder, which is attached to the liver, is also removed.

Shunts to treat portal hypertension – Portal hypertension occurs in the portal vein, which carries blood from the intestines and spleen to the liver, when disease or scarring slows the normal flow of blood and pressure increases. Novant Health surgeons can perform a procedure in which an inflatable balloon-tipped catheter tube is threaded through the jugular vein in the neck and advanced to a large branch of the portal vein in the liver. The vein is widened and then kept open with a cylindrical wire-mesh stent.

Liver biopsy – A liver biopsy is a procedure in which a small needle is inserted into your liver to collect a tissue sample. The tissue is then analyzed to help doctors diagnose a variety of disorders and diseases, such as hepatitis C infection, cancer, jaundice, abnormal levels of liver enzymes or an unexplained liver enlargement.
 

Paracentesis – Paracentesis is a procedure to remove fluid that has built up in the abdominal cavity, a condition called ascites. Ascites may be caused by infection, inflammation, abdominal injury or other conditions, such as cirrhosis or cancer. The fluid is removed using a needle inserted through the abdominal wall and analyzed to determine the cause of the fluid buildup. Paracentesis may also be done to drain the fluid as a comfort measure in people with cancer or chronic cirrhosis.