liver and pancreas services

Liver Cancer Services

Our UC Irvine Health hepatobiliary specialists are at the forefront of new therapies for cancers of the liver.

These physicians, who are part of the H.H. Chao Comprehensive Digestive Disease Center (CDDC), are experts in the latest approaches to the most challenges cases.

Our physicians also are part of the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center—Orange County's only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center. Working at Orange County's only university hospital in Orange County, our surgical team has access to latest treatments for liver cancers, including a high volume of liver resections and transplantation.

From medical therapies to surgery to clinical trials, our physicians work together to create a personalized treatment plan for each individual.

For more information about liver cancer treatments or to schedule a consultation, please call us at 888-717-4463
or complete our online appointment request form ›

Many people with liver cancer may not experience specific symptoms, but the following signs are often associated with liver cancer diagnosis:
  • Nausea or loss of appetite
  • A darker color to the urine
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Weight loss
  • Exhaustion or fatigue
  • Yellowish skin color
  • A lump or a pain on the right side of the abdomen or near the right shoulder

Our UC Irvine Health liver cancer team is versed in the latest treatment methods. We regularly discuss and review treatment plans with our patients, drawing on the expertise of our multidisciplinary team of surgeons, internists and oncologists.

Treatments are based on the stage of the disease as well as the age, the overall health of the patient and patient preference.

Surgical treatments

Surgical procedures include:

  • Partial hepatectomy

A surgical procedure that removes anywhere from a small portion to an entire lobe of the liver.

  • Total hepatectomy

A procedure that removes the patient's entire liver and replaces it with a transplanted liver from an organ donor.

  • Liver resection

This surgical procedure may involve removal of up to 50 percent of the liver, which is possible because of the liver's unique ability to regenerate. These resections often can be performed laparoscopically.

  • NanoKnife® ablation

This technique delivers electrical energy directly to tumors to kill cancer cells. UC Irvine Health is one of the few institutions in California to offer this treatment method.

  • Radiofrequency ablation (RFA)

This technique involves use of a heating probe to destroy cancer cells. Guided by ultrasound or computed tomography (CT) images, the surgeon inserts several thin needles through small incisions in the abdomen. When the needles reach the tumor, they're heated with an electric current, destroying the malignant cells.

RFA is an option for patients with nonresectable tumors smaller than six centimeters in diameter. The procedure can be performed laparoscopically, percutaneously (through the skin) or through an open incision. RFA has relatively few side effects, and patients usually go home within 24 hours after treatment.

Additional treatments

Treatment plans for liver cancer patients may also involve:
  • Cryosurgery
  • Chemoembolization
  • Chemotherapy
  • Percutaneous ethanol injection
  • Radiation therapy
  • Radioembolization (Sirtex or Therasphere)

Our UC Irvine health liver cancer team is comprised of a multidisciplinary group of internists, medical oncologists, surgeons, nurses and other healthcare professionals.

Our core team members include:
UC Irvine Health The Anti-Cancer