What is the liver
The liver is a large organ found at the top of the abdomen (tummy area) on the right side. It is made up of cells; blood vessels and bile ducts. The main cells in the liver are known as hepatocytes.
The liver is made up two main parts: the right lobe and the left lobe. The right lobe is large, whilst the left lobe is smaller.
What problems can affect the liver?
The liver is a complex organ with a lot of different functions. Problems which can affect the liver include:
- The bile flow out of the liver may be blocked
- An infection/virus – this can cause inflammation or swelling
- Metabolic diseases – problems with the way the cells make energy
- Drugs and poisons
- Poor blood supply
- Sometimes the cause is unknown – these are known as idiopathic or cryptogenic