Surgery for Liver Metastasis

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Usually surgery is recommended only for patients experiencing severe symptoms, such as pain, bleeding, or major blockages within the liver. However, some doctors may consider surgery if:

  • the liver is the only site of cancer spread
  • you have one or two lesions that can be completely removed (oligometastatic disease)
  • if there were a few years of no evidence of cancer between initial, early-stage breast cancer and diagnosis of metastasis
  • you’re generally in good health
  • the cancer is hormone-receptor-positive (which suggests it may be easier to treat)

Your oncologist or surgeon may order additional imaging scans of the liver, such as MRI or CT, to make sure that:

  • any areas of cancer can be removed completely
  • enough healthy tissue can be left behind to allow the liver to function normally

Your medical team can go over the pros and cons of surgery with you and help you make your decision. You also can discuss whether you’re a candidate for laparoscopic surgery, which is done through smaller incisions, or if you need more traditional open surgery.


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