A GROUNDBREAKING approach to liver surgery has been performed in the Hastings.
The surgery requires shorter hospital stays and it takes less time to recover.
A surgical team headed by Dr George Petrou last week demonstrated a laparoscopic approach for liver resection was safe and feasible in the Hastings for a patient with benign or malignant liver tumour.
The surgery at Port Macquarie Base Hospital was a first for the Hastings.
Advantages that can be expected with the less invasive surgery include shorter hospital stays, faster recovery times and the earlier resumption of therapies, such as chemotherapy.
Port Macquarie-based Dr Petrou introduced major liver operations here in 2008, predominantly for the treatment of colon cancer that had spread to the liver.
The surgeon has been developing his laparoscopic practice, too, including gall stone and hernia surgery.
Laparoscopic liver resection enables Dr Petrou to combine the two skills.
Dr Petrou says not all patients would be suitable to laparoscopic liver resection at this stage, but that could change in time with volume and experience.
About 15 major liver resections are performed here each year.
“I would think in Australia right now, a major centre would be required to do at least 10 of these cases a year,” he said.
“We are doing a good volume for what is still considered a regional centre.”
A multidisciplinary team works with Dr Petrou to manage these patients.
Dr Petrou recently attended a meeting in San Diego of international surgical specialists with a focus on major liver surgery and minimally invasive surgery.
The laparoscopic liver component was hosted by surgeons from the United States, India, China, Japan, Europe and South America.