Enlarged liver describes a liver that is larger than normal in size. The liver is a large, football-shaped organ found in the upper right portion of your abdomen. Enlarged liver is also known as hepatomegaly (hep-uh-to-MEG-uh-le).
Enlarged liver isn't a disease. Instead, enlarged liver is a sign of an underlying problem, such as liver disease, congestive heart failure or cancer.
Treatment for enlarged liver involves identifying and controlling the underlying cause of the condition.
An enlarged liver occurs when the liver becomes larger than normal. ...
Enlarged liver may cause no additional signs or symptoms.
When enlarged liver occurs because of liver disease, it may be accompanied by:
When to see a doctor
Many disease and conditions can cause an enlarged liver, including:
Heart and blood vessel problems
You may be more likely to experience enlarged liver if you have a liver disease. Factors that may increase your risk of liver problems include:
Preparing for your appointment
Start by first seeing your family doctor or a general practitioner if you have any signs or symptoms that worry you. If it's suspected that you have an enlarged liver, your doctor may try to discover the underlying problem and then refer you to the appropriate specialist. If you're found to have a liver disease, you may be referred to a doctor who treats liver problems (hepatologist).
Because appointments can be brief, and because there's often a lot of ground to cover, it's a good idea to be prepared. Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment, and what to expect from your doctor.
What you can do
Your time with your doctor is limited, so preparing a list of questions can help you make the most of your appointment. List your questions from most important to least important in case time runs out. For enlarged liver, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
In addition to the questions that you've prepared, don't hesitate to ask questions at any time that you don't understand something.
Tests and diagnosis
A physical exam to detect enlarged liver
A liver biopsy is a procedure to remove a small sample of liver tissue for laboratory testing. Liver biopsy is commonly performed by inserting a thin needle through your skin and into your liver. ...
Treatments and drugs
Treatment for enlarged liver involves diagnosing and treating the underlying condition that's causing it.
Some herbal supplements used as alternative medicine treatments can be harmful to your liver. To protect your liver, talk with your doctor about the potential risks before you take:
To reduce your risk of liver disease, you can:
Last Updated: 2010-02-27
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