Hepatobiliary (HPB) Cancer

When you receive a diagnosis of cancer or another troubling condition involving your hepatobiliary (HPB) system, the last thing you need is to travel to many different locations to find advanced care. A multidisciplinary program at Hartford Hospital draws together all the experts you’ll need to feel better.

Hepatobiliary Cancer Team

The hepatobiliary system – which includes the liver, gall bladder, bile ducts and pancreas - is the body’s mechanism for making bile to help with digestion. The Hepatobiliary Program at Hartford Hospital can help if you have injuries or diseases affecting this system, including:

  • Malignant or non-malignant tumors on the liver, pancreas, biliary track or gall bladder
  • A cyst on the pancreas
  • Chronic pancreatitis
  • Biliary system blockage
  • Biliary track injury
  • Cirrhosis

Our multidisciplinary team of gastroenterologists, general surgeons, oncology surgeons, transplant surgeons, medical oncologists, interventional radiologists, radiation oncologists, diagnostic radiologists and pathologists meets every other week to examine all new patient cases to determine the best way and time to help.

Once your treatment recommendations are outlined and you and your providers decide on your path, you will likely stay at Hartford Hospital. Here, we offer:

  • 90 percent of the surgical or non-surgical (link to non-surgical options page) options you’ll need; in the remaining cases, you would benefit from our close partnerships with institutions in New York City and Boston for the next level of care.

  • A full scope of radiation and chemotherapy treatments on site if either is needed before or after surgery.

Surgical Options

Often, surgery is the best--or only--option for treating cancer or other conditions affecting the liver, pancreas, bile ducts or gallbladder. Hartford HealthCare’s Hepatopancreaticobiliary (HPB) Program offers a full range of surgical procedures, including:

Procedures for conditions of the pancreas

Many of these operations can be performed laparoscopically if the circumstances of the individual case allow.

  • Whipple procedure (or pancreaticoduodenectomy), in which part of the pancreas, the gallbladder, part of the stomach, part of the small intestine and the bile duct are removed, leaving enough of the pancreas to produce digestive juices and insulin. Learn more >>

  • Distal pancreatectomy, or removal of the tail portion of the pancreas with or without removal of the spleen.

  • Pancreas drainage procedures in which a chronically blocked or scarred pancreatic duct is surgically drained into the small intestine to treat chronic pancreatitis.

  • Biliary bypass, which is done when the main bile ducts are blocked by cancer or scar tissue. The bypass procedure surgically joins the bile duct above the blockage to a section of small intestine to create a new pathway for bile drainage around the blockage.

  • Surgery to drain pancreatic pseudocysts, which are cyst-like structures containing digestive enzymes and necrotic tissue and account for a large percentage of pancreatic cysts.

Procedures for conditions of the liver and biliary tract

  • Major liver resections in which a large portion of the liver and bigger tumors are removed. These operations require intricate pre-surgical planning, testing and preparation and involve close postoperative follow up.

  • Laparoscopic resections (keyhole surgery) in which portions of the liver are removed using a video camera and long instruments through multiple incisions that are no bigger than a half inch.

  • Embolization, an interventional radiology procedure in which the specialist blocks the flow of blood feeding a liver tumor while preserving blood flow to the rest of the liver without surgery.

  • Resection of biliary/gallbladder tumors in which the tumor and surrounding tissue are removed and bile flow is reconstructed using parts of the small intestine. These operations may or may not involve removing part of the liver along with the tumor.

  • Repair or reconstruction of liver and biliary injuries using techniques specific to each individual case.

Your care team will discuss all options so you and your family can make the best decision for your care.

Non-Surgical Options

The Hartford HealthCare Hepatopancreaticobiliary (HPB) Program team routinely considers the complete array of non-surgical options for addressing your healthcare situation, including:

Your care team will discuss all options so you and your family can make the best decision for your care.

Specialists in Hepatobiliary and Surgical Oncology

Name Specialties Location
Curtis, David Eugene, MD
4.8 /5
76 surveys
  • Hepatobiliary and Surgical Oncology
  • General Surgery
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  • Hartford
  • Glastonbury
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Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute