Hepatic Artery Infusion Pump Placement: Before Your Surgery

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The digestive system

What is hepatic artery infusion pump placement?

This is surgery to place a type of pump into your body. The pump puts chemotherapy medicine into the liver. It is used to treat colorectal cancer that has spread to the liver.

The pump is a small metal container that holds medicine. A thin, plastic tube called a catheter carries medicine from the pump into a blood vessel. The blood vessel is called the hepatic artery. It goes to your liver.

You will be asleep during the surgery. The doctor will make a cut in the right side of your belly near your waist. This cut is called an incision. The doctor will put the pump under your skin. Then her or she will put the catheter into the artery. The doctor will close the incision with stitches. It will leave a scar that will fade with time.

Your doctor also may take out your gallbladder. It is connected to the liver by tiny blood vessels. If the gallbladder is not removed, some of the medicine from the pump could get to gallbladder or cause other problems.

Your doctor probably will put medicine in your pump at your first follow-up visit. He or she will tell you more about the pump. You will learn how often you need to have it filled. When you no longer need the pump, you will have another surgery to take it out.

How do you prepare for surgery?

Surgery can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for surgery.

Preparing for surgery

  • Be sure you have someone to take you home. Anesthesia and pain medicine will make it unsafe for you to drive or get home on your own.
  • Understand exactly what surgery is planned, along with the risks, benefits, and other options.
  • If you take a medicine that prevents blood clots, your doctor may tell you to stop taking it before your surgery. Or your doctor may tell you to keep taking it. (These medicines include aspirin and other blood thinners.) Make sure that you understand exactly what your doctor wants you to do.
  • Tell your doctor ALL the medicines, vitamins, supplements, and herbal remedies you take. Some may increase the risk of problems during your surgery. Your doctor will tell you if you should stop taking any of them before the surgery and how soon to do it.
  • Make sure your doctor and the hospital have a copy of your advance directive. If you don't have one, you may want to prepare one. It lets others know your health care wishes. It's a good thing to have before any type of surgery or procedure.

What happens on the day of surgery?

  • Follow the instructions exactly about when to stop eating and drinking. If you don't, your surgery may be canceled. If your doctor told you to take your medicines on the day of surgery, take them with only a sip of water.
  • Follow your doctor's instructions about when to bathe or shower before your surgery. Do not apply lotions, perfumes, deodorants, or nail polish.
  • Do not shave the surgical site yourself.
  • Take off all jewelry and piercings. And take out contact lenses, if you wear them.

At the hospital or surgery center

  • Bring a picture ID.
  • The area for surgery is often marked to make sure there are no errors.
  • You will be kept comfortable and safe by your anesthesia provider. You will be asleep during the surgery.
  • The surgery will take at least 1 hour.

When should you call your doctor?

  • You have questions or concerns.
  • You don't understand how to prepare for your surgery.
  • You become ill before the surgery (such as fever, flu, or a cold).
  • You need to reschedule or have changed your mind about having the surgery.

Where can you learn more?

Go to http://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.