|   Normal Liver   |   Hepatitis   |   Cirrhosis   |   Liver tumors Non cancerous   |
|   Cancerous   |   Liver cancer   |   Hydatid cysts   |   Acute Liver failure   |   Liver transplantation   |
Normal Liver

The liver is one of the vital organs of the body situated in the upper right quadrant of the abdomen. It measures about 2% of the body weight, but receives over 12% of blood supply. The liver produces bile, which helps carry away waste and break down fats in the small intestine during digestion. The bile is stored in gall bladder and is carried to the intestines through a series of ducts called biliary tract. The liver helps in, production of albumin, an essential protein, and certain substances that help in clotting of blood, Maintenance of blood glucose levels, and clearance of certain waste products and drugs from the body is also dependent on a normal liver function.


The Hepatitis implies to an inflammation of liver tissue. The condition can be self limiting, healing on its own or can progress to scarring of liver (cirrhosis). Acute hepatitis is when it lasts less then 6 months and chronic hepatitis is when it persists longer. It is most commonly caused by one of the Hepatitis viruses. Hepatitis can also be due to alcohol, drugs, toxins, other infections or from autoimmune process. The clinical picture may vary from a mild form with fever, jaundice and abdominal discomfort to a life threatening Fulminant hepatic failure. Early recognition and therapy can reduces the chance of progression in to end stage liver failure in some cases.

For more information visit http://en.wikipedia.org
In cirrhosis of the liver, scar tissue replaces normal, healthy tissue, blocks the flow of blood through the organ and affects its function. The common causes of cirrhosis are alcoholism, hepatitis C/B and blocked bile ducts. The liver has a large reserve and the patient remains well until the liver function reduces to 10% of the normal. The patient then starts developing symptoms like fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, weight loss and abdominal pain. The patient eventually manifests jaundice, bleeding tendencies, swelling of abdomen. Liver damage from cirrhosis cannot be reversed, but treatment can stop or delay further progression and reduce complications. Treatment depends on the cause of cirrhosis and any complications a person is experiencing
Liver tumors Non cancerous

These do not spread to other parts of the body and need surgical removal if the diagnosis is in doubt or causing symptoms. Hemangiomas are dilated blood channels and if they are incidental finding without any symptom, they can be observed with yearly ultrasounds. They would need surgical removal or blocking the main feeding vessel (Embolization) if causing any symptoms. Focal nodular hyperplasia and adenoma are other non cancerous growths can be observed if the diagnosis is definite.


Hepatoblastoma and hepatocellular carcinoma are the two commonest cancerous tumors in children and adults respectively. Surgical resection is essential for both followed by chemotherapy. Local ablative (burning) therapy using high frequency alternative current (Radiofrequency Ablation) and chemoembolization (Blocking the blood supply for the tumor) can be tried if not suitable for surgery. Liver transplant is an option for unresectable tumors without spread to other parts of the body

Liver cancer

Cancer can arise from liver cells (Hepatocellular carcinoma) or spread from other organs such as colon, stomach and pancreas to the liver (Liver metastases). Abdominal pain, weight loss and unexplained fever are the usual presenting symptoms of liver cancer. Liver cancer is more common in people suffering with hepatitis B/C infection or cirrhosis. A stable patient with these conditions can deteriorate suddenly and show jaundice or ascitis when a cancer develops. When diagnosed early, these tumors can be removed by surgery.

For patients whose tumors are successfully resected, the five-year survival is about 30 to 40%. To know more about Liver cancer visit http://www.medicinenet.com

Hydatid cysts

This is caused by echinococcus granulose. This is transmitted to human beings by sheep/dogs. It enters the body by oral route. It can settle any where in the body and the most common sites would be Lungs and liver. It may be silent or present with pain if it is big cyst. It can cause fever, jaundice, itching or swelling of the abdomen. Diagnosis by finding antibodies in the blood and CT scan would easily pick up this bag like structures filled with fluid and cysts. Operative treatment by removal of the cyst followed by medical treatment is the best.

Acute Liver failure

Is a complex multisystem illness that can progress quickly after an insult to the liver leading to brain swelling and other organ failure. The insult can be Medicines like Paracetamol or Herbal Medicines, Virus causing hepatitis (Hep. B,A) or reaction to medication. Some would recover with supportive care but others would not survive without a Liver transplant

Liver transplantation

Liver transplantation is the only definitive treatment for patients suffering from end stage liver failure or some cases of acute Liver failure. The word transplantation implies to removal of diseased organ and replacement with a healthy one. This is an established method and many people who have had liver transplants now lead normal lives. The liver can be obtained from victims of brain death or from a live donor (a portion of liver). Many of the western countries have an established system for prompt diagnosis and declaration of brain death and to counsel the relatives of the deceased regarding organ donation. These countries also follow a legitimate system of organ allocation to the patients who are wait listed according to prefixed criteria. Majority of the healthy livers for transplantation come from a deceased donor in these countries. This avoids subjecting a healthy live donor to a major surgery. How ever, since the demand for organs is far more than the organs available thousands of patients lose their lives every year. Taking a portion of liver from a live donor can cut down the number of such deaths. Countries like Japan and South Korea have been focusing their efforts on Live donor liver transplantation due to the social and religious constraints faced in establishing system for deceased donor transplantation. These countries have shown excellent results in Live donor transplants
Copyright © 2007-2008, Liversurgeonindia.com, All rights Reserved.