ISMETT’s Expertise in Liver Resection Recognized in Italy

By: Simona Abbro and Courtney Caprara

At UPMC-managed ISMETT, one of Europe’s leading organ transplant facilities located in Palermo, Italy, health care providers approach complex medical situations, including liver resections, as a team.

“A liver resection, which is the first treatment option for many liver tumors, involves the surgical removal of part of the organ,” said Dr. Salvatore Gruttadauria, director of ISMETT’s Department for the Treatment and Study of Abdominal Diseases and Abdominal Transplantation. “Operations of this type are possible thanks to a Sicilian network that combines the activity of multidisciplinary teams, with surgeons, anesthesiologists, hepatologists, radiologists and endoscopists working together.”

ISMETT has performed 1,300 liver resections in total, with an average of 100 per year in the last two years alone. The hospital, a public-private partnership with the Region of Sicily, ranks among the top 10 Italian centers for minimally invasive liver resections, which means faster recovery times for patients.

ISMETT’s expertise recently helped a young mother from the Palermo area, who for years had been traveling to facilities around Italy in attempts to remove a debilitating liver tumor. When she was eventually referred to ISMETT, located just half an hour from her home, she underwent liver resection surgery to remove a 35-centimeter tumor weighing 8 kilograms, or more than 17 pounds.

“This patient is now doing well, and she was discharged nine days post-surgery, ready for unhindered quality of life,” Gruttadauria said. “We are not just a transplant hospital. In this case and countless others, the ISMETT team has helped patients who do not require a transplant but are suffering from complex conditions that can lead to end-stage organ failure.”

Cases like this one help to explain ISMETT’s latest achievement: recognition in May as a Regional Reference Center for Hepato-Biliary-Pancreatic Tumors by the Regional Health Care Commission.

To learn more about the hospital’s high specialty services, visit the ISMETT website.