The most frequent incision utilized to open the abdomen for liver surgery is called a chevron incision. In this incision a cut is made on the abdomen below the rib cage. The cut starts under the armpit below the ribs on the right side of the abdomen and continues all the way across the abdomen to the opposite arm pit thereby the whole width of the abdomen is cut to provide access to the liver. The average length of the incision is approximately 24 to 30 inches.
This is one of the longest incisions is utilized in abdominal surgery. The incision is frequently associated with significant discomfort after the surgery and in some patients the discomfort can continue for many months, particularly when some of the nerves in the abdominal wall have been cut during the surgery.
Laparoscopic surgery provides advantages over open surgery for the liver since the chevron incision is completely avoided and the surgery is performed through tiny incisions. As a consequence the duration of stay in hospital, the amount and duration of post operative discomfort, and the length of recovery is much shorter after the laparoscopic procedure compared to open surgery