During a routine check-up at Cleveland Clinic to evaluate a stent in his aorta, Jack Speir learned his liver might be cancerous. Despite hailing from Atlanta, Mr. Speir, age 73, chose to seek care at Cleveland Clinic – the hospital he credits with saving his life nine years prior when treated for an aortic aneurysm.
After a biopsy confirmed liver cancer, Narayanan Menon, MD, a liver specialist within the Digestive Disease Institute’s Liver Tumor Clinic, explained treatment options to Mr. Speir. In the hopes of being cancer-free, Mr. Speir chose surgical removal of the tumor and was referred to Federico Aucejo, MD, liver surgeon.
“Dr. Aucejo could not have been nicer,” Mr. Speir said. “He explained what the surgery would entail, the incisions and the length of the recuperation period.”
On October 13, 2009, Mr. Speir underwent successful liver tumor removal. His pain was managed with an epidural. Once his gastrointestinal function returned Mr. Speir was discharged to the regular nursing floor, where staff helped him regain mobility and prepare for a lengthy drive back home to Atlanta. One month later, he managed the drive back home, where he continued to recuperate.
“I worried I would be able to make it home, but I did,” he said. “I’m now 85 percent better. I’m still working on my strength, and I can’t be as active as I was before, but I’m getting there.”
Mr. Speir’s surgery was complicated by the fact that he had undergone a quadruple bypass in 2000, had a stent implanted in 2001, had Type II diabetes and was an amputee. However, he remains positive about his prognosis.
“At Cleveland Clinic, the devotion and attention given to improving your health is unmatched anywhere,” Mr. Speir noted. “They take a genuine interest in your well-being.”
The Cleveland Clinic Liver Tumor Clinic offers a multidisciplinary medical and surgical approach to treat patients with hepatic tumors, including surgical resection (open, laparoscopic, robotic); radio frequency ablation (RFA); transarterial chemoembolization (TACE); transarterial radiotherapy; systemic chemotherapy; and liver transplantation (cadaveric and living donation). During the same clinic visit, patients are evaluated by a group of specialists as needed. The medical team is comprised of hepatobiliary and transplant surgeons, hepatologists, radiologists and oncologists, who interact with the support of specialized nurse coordinators.
To contact the Liver Tumor Clinic to make an appointment, please call 216.445.8389 or toll-free 1.800.223.2273 ext. 58389.