Topic: The liver resection not thought possible
My husband is recovering nicely from the resection. He is eating normal, weight gain is slow but steady and his strengths has returned to almost normal. And we were told that none of this was possible.
The first surgeon t h o u g h t (so he said) that the tumor had wrapped itself around the hepatic artery. Consequently, he was sure a resection was not possible. He felt assured of his opinion since he as he says, sees many cc patients. We were referred to an oncologist who gave my husband 6 months to live without chemo or 12 months with chemotherapy. We then met with a local oncologist who was prepared to try a more aggressive approach however, before doing such referred us for another opinion to a surgeon who is well known in this country. This doctor also felt that a recection was not in order since the tumor had spread too far, and that surgery was too invasive making a promising recovery unlikely. In order to remove the cancer too much would have to be cut out not leaving enough liver for my husband to live with. He also has seen and treated many cc patients.
Dr. Jenkins proved them wrong. By looking at the scans Dr. Jenkins detected an abnormality with the hepatic artery which in turn worked in my husband's favor. He also assured us that if needed he would shorten the hepatic artery and portal vein however, it was his opinion that the tumor was one inch away from both. He also told us that the left portion of my husband's liver had been atrophied for quite some time possibly two years, and that the right side of his liver had taken over the function quite nicely all along.
The surgery lasted 5 hours. Dr. Jenkins removed the left atrophied portion of the liver, basically re-plumbed my husband and cleared the area of all the lymph nodes of which one closest to the tumor contained some cancer cells. We are well aware of the possiblity of this cancer returning however, we feel to be in a better position now.
Unfortunately, I believe that the ego of some doctors can be deadly to patients. Neither one of the previous surgeons gave us the slightest hint that there may be someone out there who may see things differently, someone with the qualifications of Dr. Jenkins who has performed 200 bile duct cancer surgeries so far. Both of them felt that their opinion was the absolute. Yes, we don't know as to what the future will hold but at least we have a chance now. I will gladly pass on more information if requested.