New technology expands capabilities for liver surgeons

Mr Krishna Epari, Associate Professor Mo Ballal and Mr Mayank Bhandari

Mr Krishna Epari, Associate Professor Mo Ballal and Mr Mayank Bhandari

Surgeons at St John of God Murdoch Hospital are now undertaking more complex surgery to remove liver tumours, thanks to the acquisition of equipment that offers the latest in technology.

Mr Krishna Epari from Upper GI West says the recent purchase of the Integra CUSA Excel+ Ultrasonic Surgical Aspirator and the Thompson Liver Retractor has already had a positive impact on their work.

“We are really excited to be able to offer the ultimate in major liver surgery with fewer risks and improved outcomes,” Mr Epari says.

“These two machines give us an additional level of precision and control so we can handle far more complex cases.”

The Thompson Retractor allows better exposure of the liver which can be difficult to access being located under the ribs.

The CUSA melts away liver tissue ultrasonically allowing direct visualisation of its internal blood vessels and bile ducts. This allows us to minimise blood loss whilst preserving critical structures and achieving complete removal of tumours.

Mr Epari says the commonest indication for liver surgery is for cases in which bowel cancer has spread to the liver.

“Metastases from bowel cancer are often isolated to the liver as the blood supply from the bowel goes through the liver first,” Mr Epari says.

“So if we can catch them in time, we still have reasonably good chances of cure.”

The surgeons at Upper GI West work closely with oncologists, radiologists and other specialists. They attend a weekly Multi-Disciplinary Team Meeting where cases are reviewed and discussed to work out the best management plan for each patient.

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