Hepatobiliary Cancer

When you’re diagnosed with cancer or another condition involving your hepatobiliary (HPB) system, the last thing you need is to travel to many locations for advanced care.

The Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute draws together all the experts you’ll need in convenient locations.

The HPB system – liver, gallbladder, bile ducts and pancreas - is the body’s mechanism for making bile to aid digestion.

We can help if you have injuries or diseases affecting the HPB system, including:


Connect with a Nurse Navigator

Call 855.255.6181 or request a callback for support, advice, or a second opinion.

Meet Our Team


Diagnosing Hepatobiliary Cancer

We use one or both of these options to diagnose HPB cancer:

  • Imaging tests: Ultrasound, CT scan, MRI and others.
  • Biopsy: We collect a tissue sample from an organ or other part of your body by cutting, scraping or using a needle and syringe. A pathologist then examines the sample under a microscope for abnormalities such as cancer.

Treating Hepatobiliary Cancer

Your care team will talk to you about all available options, both surgical and nonsurgical, so you can make the best decision.

Surgical Options

Many can be performed laparoscopically, using small incisions, so the risk is minimal and recovery time is faster.

Surgical treatments include:

  • Whipple procedure (pancreaticoduodenectomy): Removes part of the pancreas, gallbladder, part of the stomach, part of the small intestine and the bile duct. Enough of the pancreas is left to produce digestive juices and insulin. 
  • Distal pancreatectomy: Removes part of the pancreas. It may also include removal of the spleen.
  • Pancreas drainage: Treats a chronically blocked or scarred pancreatic duct, surgically draining it into the small intestine.
  • Biliary bypass: An option if the main bile ducts are blocked by cancer or scar tissue. The procedure surgically joins the bile duct above the blockage to a section of the small intestine, creating a new pathway for bile drainage.
  • Surgical drainage of pancreatic pseudocysts

For conditions of the liver and biliary tract, we offer such surgical procedures as:

  • Liver resections: Removes portions of the liver and tumors. If the area is small enough, laparoscopic resections called keyhole surgery are performed through small incisions.
  • Embolization: An interventional radiology procedure that blocks the flow of blood to a liver tumor while preserving blood flow to the rest of the liver.
  • Resection of biliary/gallbladder tumors: Removes a tumor and surrounding tissue and reconstructs bile flow using the small intestine. This may include removing part of the liver with the tumor.

Nonsurgical Options

  • Microwave ablation
  • Intravascular embolization
  • Chemotherapy
  • Y90 radioembolization

Hepatobiliary Cancers
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Alliance

We offer the latest treatments through our ongoing membership in the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Alliance, which gives you access to the latest standards of care and clinical trials.

The MSK Alliance

Support at the Cancer Institute

The Cancer Institute offers whatever you and your family need on your journey, whether it’s access to an oncology social worker, a nurse navigator to coordinate your care or the support of our Patient and Family Resource Center.

Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute