What Does It Mean When Your Liver Is Enlarged


What Is The Prognosis For Patients Who Have Budd

Signs You Have An Enlarged Liver

Without treatment, people who have a completely blocked hepatic vein can die of liver failure within three years. Survival in this case is improved with liver transplantation. People who have partially blocked veins can live longer, but the life expectancy is different for each person.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 10/23/2019.


  • Merck Manual Consumer Version. Budd-Chiari Syndrome. Accessed 10/15/2019.
  • National Organization for Rare Disorders. Budd Chiari Syndrome. Accessed 10/15/2019.
  • National Institutes of Health/Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center. Budd-Chiari syndrome. Accessed 10/15/2019.
  • Ferral H, Behrens G, Lopera J. Budd-Chiari Syndrome. American Journal of Roentgenology. 2012 199: 737-745. Accessed 10/15/2019.

What Other Symptoms Might Occur With Enlarged Liver

Many symptoms may occur along with enlarged liver, depending on what is causing the condition. Some symptoms include:

  • yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes
  • abdominal pain, swelling, or bloating
  • diarrhea, pale-colored stool, or bloody stool
  • nausea with or without vomiting
  • difficulty breathing

How Do You Treat A Liver Cyst

Most benign or simple liver cysts dont need to be treated. But healthcare providers may remove benign or simple liver cysts that grow larger than 4 centimeters across.

Procedures and surgeries to remove large benign cysts, cysts caused by polycystic liver disease and precancerous or cancerous liver cysts include:

  • Percutaneous aspiration. Healthcare providers use ultrasound or CT imaging to insert needles or catheters into liver cysts and drain the cysts fluid.
  • Cyst fenestration. This surgery treats large cysts by removing the cysts wall.
  • Hepatic resection.This surgery removes areas of the liver affected by cysts.
  • Transarterial embolization .This treatment works the same way you might build a dam in a stream to stop the stream from flowing. Healthcare providers inject anti-cancer drugs into one of your arteries that supplies blood to your liver. Then, they inject a substance to block the artery. The substances act as a dam, keeping the anti-cancer drug swirling around the tumor instead of floating away.
  • Surgery. To remove benign or cancerous cysts.
  • Liver transplantation. This surgery treats polycystic liver disease that doesnt respond to medication and/or surgeries to remove liver cysts.

Recommended Reading: What Is The Main Cause Of Pancreatitis

How Is Toxic Hepatitis Treated

The most effective treatment for toxic hepatitis is to avoid further exposure to the chemical or drug that caused it:

  • Stop taking any drugs, vitamins, minerals or nutritional supplements that are causing toxic hepatitis.
  • Avoid or limit workplace exposure to harmful solvents or chemicals. You may have to change jobs or duties if you develop toxic hepatitis after exposure to harmful chemicals.
  • Do not drink alcohol or use recreational drugs.
  • Take prescription or over-the-counter medications as directed. Do not take more than the recommended dose.

What Is Portal Hypertension

Pin on Sleep Apnea

Portal hypertension is high blood pressure in the portal vein. This vein sends blood to the liver from the intestine and spleen. Portal hypertension may be from increased blood pressure in the portal blood vessels. Or it may be caused by the slowing of blood flow through the liver. Portal hypertension can lead to the growth of new blood vessels . These connect blood flow from the intestine to the general circulation. They bypass the liver. When this happens, substances that are normally removed by the liver pass into the general circulation. Symptoms of portal hypertension may include:

  • Kidney problems or failure

  • Enlarged spleen

Also Check: Fish Oil For Fatty Liver

Liver Failure Vs Liver Disease

Its important to distinguish between liver disease and liver failure.

Liver disease refers to any condition that causes inflammation or damage to your liver. Liver disease can affect the overall function of your liver.

Liver failure is when your liver has lost some or all of its functionality. It can occur due to the damage thats caused by liver disease.

Damage from liver disease can accrue in several stages, which increasingly affect your livers ability to function.

How Is Hepatomegaly Treated

Since hepatomegaly isn’t technically a disease, Dr. Pyrsopoulos says it’s important to treat the underlying issue. If your doctor suspects that alcohol abuse is behind your hepatomegaly, they’ll encourage you to stop drinking.

Dr. Pyrsopoulos stresses the importance of listening to your doctor. “This is a salvageable situation,” he says. “If we can catch it at an early stage, the liver can bounce back. If not, it can lead to permanent damage.”

To get our top stories delivered to your inbox, sign up for the Healthy Livingnewsletter

Read Also: Gallbladder Cleanse With Apple Juice

Recognizing The Signs And Symptoms

  • 1Be aware of jaundice symptoms. Jaundice is a yellow pigmentation of the skin, mucus, and whites of the eyes caused by excess bilirubin in your blood stream. Bilirubin is a yellowish-orange pigment found in liver bile.XResearch source Because a healthy liver usually eliminates excess bilirubin, its presence indicates a liver problem.XTrustworthy SourcePubMed CentralJournal archive from the U.S. National Institutes of HealthGo to source
  • In addition to yellowish pigmentation to the skin and whites of the eyes, symptoms of jaundice may include fatigue, abdominal pain, weight loss, vomiting, fever, pale stools, and dark urine.
  • Jaundice symptoms are usually present when the liver is seriously impaired, and it is best to seek medical attention immediately if you are experiencing them.
  • 2Look for abdominal swelling or pain. Abdominal swelling, if you are not pregnant, usually indicates an accumulation of fat, fluid, or feces, or the presence of a tumor, cyst, fibroids, or other enlargement of an organ such as the liver or spleen.XResearch source In some severe cases, you could actually look eight months pregnant even if you’re not. Many causes of abdominal swelling indicate an underlying medical condition that your doctor should examine.XTrustworthy SourcePubMed CentralJournal archive from the U.S. National Institutes of HealthGo to source
  • If it is a fluid accumulation, then it is referred to as ascites and is a common symptom of an enlarged liver.
  • Eat Plenty Of Protein

    Enlarged Liver Symptoms And Causes – What Is Hepatomegaly

    Eating a diet high in high-quality protein is often recommended for fatty liver disease. Make sure you eat plenty of high-quality protein that offers optimal ratios of essential amino acids. Egg whites, chicken breast, and low-fat dairy are excellent sources of high-quality protein. Essential amino acids help the body repair from injury, build muscle tissue, and produce enzymes and hormones.

    You May Like: How Long Is The Recovery From Gallbladder Surgery

    Liver Abscess Or Cyst

    A bacterial, fungal, or parasitic infection in your liver can form an abscess, or a pocket of pus. The top right side of your abdomen may be tender. Your doctor may be able to feel that your liver is enlarged. Usually, youâll also have fever and chills.

    Cysts are also pockets of fluid, but they arenât usually infected. If they are large, they may make you uncomfortable, mostly because youâll feel âfullâ in your abdomen. Cysts sometimes can bleed, which can cause sudden, severe pain in your upper right belly and shoulder. Learn about polycystic liver disease symptoms, causes, and treatment.

    What Does The Liver Do

    The liver is the largest solid organ in your body, weighing in at about 3 pounds. Its a major filter for your body, removing harmful substances or toxins and balancing your metabolism. The liver makes bile, a digestive fluid, and also produces and stores proteins like albumin a critical protein that regulates blood volume and fluid balance in your body.

    In addition, your liver also stores and manages:

    • proteins that help clotting
    • proteins and substances that help with immune function
    • fat-soluble vitamins
    • extra blood sugar thats transformed into long-term glycogen

    Without a properly functioning liver, youll experience problems like the buildup of toxins, uncontrolled bleeding from poor blood clotting, and increased infections.

    Liver pain can signal problems in the liver itself or in other parts of the body. Conditions that directly affect the liver and can lead to pain include:

    • excessive alcohol consumption

    4.5 million Americans live with liver disease. Thats about 2 percent of adults. Hepatitis, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and excessive alcohol consumption are the most common causes of liver disease.

    Sometimes, liver damage generates pain in other parts of the body. Since the liver has no pain receptors, surrounding tissues and other areas of the body like the neck and shoulders may hurt.

    Fitz Hugh Curtis syndrome is one example of a complicated disease that can affect the liver and cause generalized abdominal pain.

    Also Check: Sudden Weight Gain In Stomach And Thighs

    Eat Fruits And Veggies

    Eating an abundance of fruits and veggies is vital for protecting your liver from fatty liver progression and worsening liver conditions. Fruits and vegetables are chock-full of protective components like antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Antioxidants like polyphenols and carotenoids actually help the liver clear oxidative waste and repair from damage. Incorporate foods like beets, spinach, carrots, celery, sweet potato, apples, and berries into your diet.

    Recovery Of Enlarged Liver In Dogs

    How to Check for Enlarged Liver

    Your dogs recovery will depend upon diagnosis and treatment, but your role in the recovery will regardless be to follow all veterinarian instructions and closely monitor your dogs health and behavior.

    Your dogs prognosis depends upon the cause of the enlarged liver however, in any case, keep in mind that the liver is the site of drug metabolism in dogs, and do not give your dog any new medication without consulting your veterinarian first. Your veterinarian may prescribe a specific diet, such as low protein diet with added liver supplements. In any case, changing the feeding pattern to small and frequent meals may be helpful for recovery.

    Recommended Reading: Post Gallbladder Surgery Diet Menu

    Lose Weight If Needed

    A higher body mass index increases the likelihood that you will have fatty deposits in your liver. When you lose weight, you also lose fat content in your liver. You can encourage weight loss by cutting back on portion sizes, increasing your physical activity, and eating whole foods instead of packaged and processed foods.

    B Common Pitfalls And Side

    Acute, life-threatening disorders such as acute decompensated congestive heart failure and acute thrombosis should be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible. Hepatomegaly can lead to splenomegaly which may cause pancytopenia .

    There are no specific medications to treat hepatomegaly. The underlying cause of hepatomegaly must be addressed.

    Don’t Miss: Does Pancreatitis Lead To Pancreatic Cancer

    How Is Hepatomegaly Diagnosed

    Hepatomegaly is often found during a routine physical examination. Your healthcare provider will:

    • Take a medical history
    • Perform a physical examination in search of risk factors for liver disease
    • Look for signs and symptoms that may reveal the cause of hepatomegaly

    In many cases, the cause of liver enlargement may be clear from your medical history alone.

    Iv Whats The Evidence

    Fatty Liver DO NOT IGNORE These Symptoms

    Naylor, CD, Simel, DL, Rennie, DL. Does this patient have hepatomegaly. . 2009.

    Healy, PM, Jacobson, EJ. Hepatomegaly. . 2006.

    Noel, RJ, Balistreri, WF, Friedman, LS, Keeffe, EB. Pediatric liver disease. . 2004.

    Schiff, ER, Sorrell, MF, Maddrey, WC. . 2007.

    No sponsor or advertiser has participated in, approved or paid for the content provided by Decision Support in Medicine LLC. The Licensed Content is the property of and copyrighted by DSM.

    Also Check: Best Probiotic For Gut Health

    Diagnosis Of Fatty Liver Disease

    Your doctor may see something unusual in a blood test or notice that your liver is slightly enlarged during a routine check-up. These could be signs of a fatty liver. To make sure you dont have another liver disease, your doctor may ask for more blood tests , an ultrasound, a computed tomography scan or medical resonance imaging .If other diseases are ruled out, you may be diagnosed with NASH. The only way to know for sure is to get a liver biopsy. Your doctor will remove a sample of liver tissue with a needle and check it under a microscope.Some questions to ask your doctor after diagnosis include:

    • What is the likely cause of my fatty liver?
    • Do I have NASH? If not, how likely am I to develop NASH?
    • Do I have cirrhosis? If not, how likely am I to develop cirrhosis?
    • Do I need to lose weight? How can I do so safely?
    • Should I be taking any medication to control my cholesterol and triglyceride levels?
    • What medications or other substances should I avoid to protect my liver?

    What Are The Possible Complications Of Hepatomegaly

    The likelihood of feeling an enlarged liver is unlikely. But because damage to your liver can cause an accumulation of fluid within your abdomen, you may notice that your stomach sticks out more than usual.

    You could also experience other symptoms like jaundice, loss of appetite, and stomach pain. Make an appointment with a doctor if you think you may have signs or symptoms of hepatomegaly.

    Your liver is a vital organ. The best way to manage your livers health is to follow your doctors instructions regarding healthy practices. This could include exercising more, drinking less alcohol, and eating a balanced diet.

    Your treatment options depend upon the underlying disorders that cause your liver enlargement. Some of the treatments your doctor will recommend may include:

    • medications and treatments for liver failure or infections like hepatitis C
    • chemotherapy, surgery, or radiation for liver cancer
    • a liver transplant for liver damage
    • treating the source for metastatic cancer
    • treatment for lymphoma or leukemia, depending upon the type, degree of spread, and your general health
    • quitting alcohol or any others drugs

    Once your doctor confirms hepatomegaly, theyll usually recommend lifestyle changes for your liver health. These include:

    • refraining from drinking alcohol

    There are many lifestyle factors that can cause hepatomegaly. Managing these factors can decrease your risk for an enlarged liver.

    Here are some things you can do:

    Recommended Reading: How Long Do You Survive With Pancreatic Cancer

    What Is Toxic Hepatitis

    Toxic hepatitis is the inflammation of the liver caused by exposure to chemicals or drugs, or from drinking excessive amounts of alcohol.

    The liver has several major functions:

    • It converts proteins and sugars into byproducts that can be used for energy and biological processes.
    • It acts as a filter to remove chemicals and drugs from the bloodstream.
    • It stores vitamins, hormones, and minerals and releases them into the body as needed.
    • The liver also produces bile, a greenish fluid that is stored in the gallbladder. Bile helps to break down fats in the small intestine.

    Enlarged Liver Or Hepatomegaly

    Taste of Home: Abnormal Enlargement Of The Liver with preview about 43 ...

    An enlarged liver in medical terms is called hepatomegaly and means an increase in the size of the liver. “Hepatic” refers to the liver and “megaly” refers to an increase in size.

    The liver is largest organ of the human body and situated in the upper right quadrant of the abdomen. It weighs a little less in women than men. The weight is 1200 to 1400 g in the adult woman and 1400 to 1500 g in the adult man. It is vital organ in the human body. It is responsible for the digestion of fats , storage of glucose in the form of glycogen and metabolism of the pharmaceutical drugs that we consume.

    The factors that affect the size of the liver are age, gender, body weight and body shape. A liver that is 3 centimeters larger or smaller is still considered normal. The normal liver can sometimes be felt under the right rib cage and is normally soft and smooth with no irregularities.

    Diseases that cause the liver to get enlarged have to be treated immediately since they interfere with the livers functionality.

    Go to source)

    • Homeopathic medicines such as Chelidonium majus, Cardus marianus, Lycopodium clavatum have proven beneficial in treating liver inflammation.
    • Lifestyle changes like maintaining healthy weight in obese people and keeping normal sugar levels have to be followed.

    Read Also: What Are The 4 Stages Of Cirrhosis Of The Liver

    A What Is The Differential Diagnosis For This Problem

    There are various possible etiologies for an enlarged liver. Generally, this can be broken down into the following categories: infiltrative disease, vascular or congestive hepatopathy, hepatitis , cholestatic disease, and nodules or space-occupying lesions .

    Infiltrative processes include Wilsons disease and hemochromatosis . Gauchers disease is a liposomal storage disorder which ultimately causes hepatomegaly due to accumulation of lipid-laden macrophages and resultant inflammation in the liver some cases of Gauchers are not detected until adulthood. Amyloidosis and glycogen storage disorders may also cause liver enlargement.

    When vascular flow out of the liver is compromised, as by acute blood clot formation in the hepatic veins as in Budd-Chiari syndrome, the liver may become enlarged and tender. Obstruction of the inferior vena cava can also cause hepatomegaly. Congestive hepatopathy results from passive liver congestion due to poor cardiac output. Tricuspid regurgitation and constrictive pericarditis may also cause hepatomegaly and are distinguished by the presence of pulsations on palpation.

    Hepatitis, or inflammation in the liver, can also cause hepatomegaly. The causes of hepatitis are varied and include infections , medications, alcohol, autoimmune disorders, and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis.

    Cholestatic disease, such as cholangitis, can cause liver enlargement which is generally tender and associated with elevated alkaline phosphatase and bilirubin levels.

    Storage Disorders Of The Liver

    This refers to a group of diseases where the liver stores too much carbohydrate, minerals, or other biological molecules. Often, the cause is genetic and may be exacerbated by diet or other factors in your environment.

    There are numerous liver storage diseasesexamples include hemochromatosis , Wilsons disease , or glycogenosis .

    If left untreated, these diseases can cause life-threatening liver failure. Treatment is variable and can include dietary changes or medications which capture the offending molecules.

    Recommended Reading: Do You Need Digestive Enzymes After Gallbladder Removal

    Swelling Of The Abdomen

    Being an inflammation, it is common to notice that your belly is more swollen. You will feel pain in the abdomen, and every time you finish eating, you will have a very unpleasant feeling. A feeling of being very full, very heavy and uncomfortable. You may feel nauseous and your digestion will be quite slow.

    Share post:



    More like this

    How Fast Does The Liver Regenerate

    Reducing The...

    Cod Liver Oil For Cats

    Real Benefits...

    Symptoms Of Tumor In Liver

    Whats The...