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Liver Surgeons At AdventHealth Offer Minimally Invasive Treatments for Benign Liver Masses

This page is primarily about treatment for benign liver tumors and cysts. For information about malignant liver tumors, please see the page for liver cancer.

Just like other organs, the liver can develop benign tumors or cysts. These growths rarely affect liver function. However, when these non-cancerous growths cause bothersome symptoms or have the potential of turning into cancer, they may require surgery.

AdventHealth Digestive Institute surgeon Dr. Iswanto Sucandy has dedicated experience with liver surgery. He has the skills and technologies to offer minimally invasive liver surgery, which gives patients far easier and faster recoveries. Some common benign liver masses include hepatocellular adenoma and liver cysts.

Hepatocellular Adenoma

Hepatocellular adenoma (HCA) is a benign liver mass. The condition is also known as hepatic adenoma. It is not to be confused with hepatocellular carcinoma, which is a primary liver cancer. However, if it becomes large enough and is then left untreated, HCA can turn into hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).

Causes, Symptoms and Discovery of HCA

Hepatocellular adenoma is believed to be caused by synthetic estrogens, especially those found in anabolic steroids or birth control pills containing mestranol. Therefore, hepatic adenoma is a condition that primarily affects women who take oral contraceptives.

The most common symptom of HCA is pain or discomfort on the right side of the chest or pain in the right shoulder. However, only 25 to 50 percent of people with the condition experience this. About 3 of 10 people will have bleeding from the adenoma. Hepatocellular adenomas are often discovered when they are felt by patients or by their doctors during an exam or when they appear on imaging tests for another condition.

Patients can have one more many adenomas in their livers. They are usually discovered when they are 8 to 15 cm in size, although they can range from 1 to 30 cm.

Treatment for HCA

Once the adenoma is 4 to 5 cm, the likelihood it will transform into cancer increases. Therefore, surgery to remove the mass – done minimally invasively if possible – is the recommended treatment for adenomas that are about 4 to 5 cm in size or larger. Surgery is also recommended for any liver masses that are producing symptoms. Sometimes symptoms can worsen during pregnancy. If you are a woman with HCA and wish to have a child, you may want to consider having the adenoma surgically removed before trying to get pregnant.

Liver Cysts

Liver cysts are common, and about 1 in 20 people have at least one. However, of every 100 people with liver cysts, only five to ten will have any symptoms.

When liver cysts produce symptoms, patients may feel:

  • Fullness in the upper and right side of the abdomen
  • Pain or discomfort
  • Feeling full before eating as much as usual

Unlike a solid tumor, a cyst is a sac filled with liquid. Most liver cysts are filled with clear fluid. Sometimes bleeding into the cyst can occur. If this happens, patients will likely feel a sudden pain in the upper right part of the abdomen and chest as well as shoulder discomfort. The cyst usually contains the bleeding, and as bleeding stops, this pain will go away over several days.

Liver Cyst Treatment

If you have a liver cyst causing pain, discomfort or fullness, it can be treated with a minimally invasive surgery that involves just a small incision in your belly button. Most patients are discharged from the hospital on the same day of their surgery. During the cyst removal procedure, your surgeon will remove a large piece of the cyst wall. This will destroy the cyst sac. Because it will no longer be able to fill up with fluid, the cyst will be permanently gone.

Liver Disease and Hepatology

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  • Liver Cancer

    AdventHealth Digestive Institute surgeons offer surgical and non-surgical liver cancer treatments, depending on your specific case. Schedule an appointment with one of our gastroenterologists.

  • Gallbladder Cancer

    Removing the gallbladder with cancer is a very complex surgery that requires highly experienced surgeons like those at AdventHealth Digestive Institute.

  • Liver Disease and Cirrhosis

    Gastroenterologists and surgeons at AdventHealth Digestive Institute are experts in treating liver disease, cirrhosis, fatty liver and hepatitis.

  • Hepatitis

    Our expert medical team can help diagnose, manage and treat hepatitis B and C.

  • Liver Cysts and Tumors (Benign)

    For diagnosis and treatment of benign liver tumors or cysts, our exert medical team can help. Learn more about the causes and symptoms today.

  • Robotic Liver Surgery

    If you need surgery for liver cancer or benign liver tumors, you may qualify for our minimally invasive procedure using a surgical robot.

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Recover Faster With Minimally Invasive and Robotic Surgery

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Meet The Experts

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Dr. Iswanto Sucandy

Iswanto Sucandy


Advanced HPB Surgeon

Sandra Freeman

Sandra G. Freeman


Nurse Practitioner

Dana Manzi

Dana Manzi


Nurse Practitioner

Betsy Prator

Betsy Prator


Nurse Practitioner

A Doctor Speaks to a Patient in the Practice Lobby

Surgical Consultations For Digestive Cancer Without The Wait

Appointments Within Five Days for Patients with Cancer

At AdventHealth Digestive Institute, we know that after being diagnosed with cancer, patients want and often need to begin treatment quickly. So we make it a priority to offer appointments for cancer surgery consultations within five business days, and often earlier.

Patients who are newly diagnosed with cancer, or have just found out they have cancer again, qualify for this priority access. Our surgeons will make themselves available to see you right away, even for a second opinion. We want to help you start your treatment as soon as possible.

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