Hepatobiliary Surgery

What is the Hepatobiliary System?

The hepatobiliary system is part of the digestive system of the body and includes the liver, pancreas, bile ducts and the gallbladder. Many conditions can affect the organs of the hepatobiliary system.


The Liver

The liver is one of the largest organs in the body and is located in the right upper abdomen under the ribcage. It performs many jobs including breaking down/removing toxic substances from the body, storing energy and essential elements, and making bile, which is essential to break down fats.

Some conditions that affect the liver include:

  • Liver cancer
  • Metastatic liver cancer
  • Liver adenoma
  • Liver hemangioma
  • Liver cyst

The Pancreas

The pancreas is a small thin organ in the upper abdomen that lies behind the stomach. The pancreas makes fluid that is needed to digest food. In addition, the pancreas is responsible for making insulin, which is essential for control of sugar in the body.

Some conditions that affect the pancreas include:

  • Pancreas cancer
  • Pancreas cyst
  • Pancreatitis

The Gallbladder and Bile Ducts

The gallbladder is a small pouch on the undersurface of the liver. The bile ducts are small tubes that begin in the liver and come together to connect the liver and gallbladder to the small intestine. Bile is carried down the bile ducts from the liver and stored in the gallbladder. Bile eventually travels to the intestine, where it is involved in digestion.

Some conditions affecting the bile ducts and gallbladder include:

  • Gallstones
  • Gallbladder polyps
  • Gallbladder cancer
  • Bile duct stricture
  • Bile duct cancer

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