Long live the liver! Your liver is the only organ in your body that can regenerate even after suffering severe damage. It can re-grow cells and actually be split into parts to be transplanted into another human being. A living personal can also donate a portion of his or her liver to their loved one, and the remaining part regenerates to almost its original size. Your liver is an important and meaty organ which is located on the right side of your belly. It weighs around 3 pounds and is reddish-brown in color. Liver anatomy is rather simple as it has two large sections, namely right and left lobes. It works to digest, absorb, and process the food you eat. The liver performs the job of filtering your blood that comes from the digestive tract and passes to the rest of your body. The liver also performs the function of detoxifying chemicals and metabolizing drugs. It secretes bile and makes proteins that are necessary for blood clotting and other bodily functions. It does so many jobs, your liver, and thus there are quite a lot of problems and diseases that it is prone to.

Dr. Sara Hartsaw & Dr. Jake Rinker
General Surgery

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Cirrhosis of The Liver

This is caused by long-term damage to your liver. The causes can be numerous resulting in permanent scarring, called cirrhosis, which makes your liver unable to function well. The National Institute of Health says that cirrhosis stands 12th among the leading causes of death by diseases. Cirrhosis is diagnosed by:

  • Physical exam

  • Blood test

  • Biopsy

Liver Cancer

Hepatocellular carcinoma is the most common type of liver cancer. This almost always occurs after cirrhosis. Primary liver cancer is still relatively uncommon, but many other forms of it can often metastasize here. This is because your liver filters a high volume of blood. This fluid might be carrying cancer cells leaving it very susceptible to contracting a form of secondary cancer.

Liver Metastases

Liver metastasis is a secondary cancer. It is a cancerous tumor that spreads to the liver from another body part that originally had developed cancer.

Liver Failure

Liver failure has many causes including liver infection, genetic diseases, and even excessive alcohol consumption. Symptoms of liver failure are:

  • Vomiting

  • Disorientation or confusion

  • Sleepiness

  • Pain in upper right abdomen

  • Abdominal swelling

  • Nausea

Alcoholic Liver Disease

This kind of disease is primarily based on the gender, age, location, weight, and health of the patient. These factors affect how your liver metabolizes alcohol. Too much alcohol interrupts normal liver function leading to a chemical imbalance which results in alcoholic liver disease.

Liver Enlargement

The following are the most common symptoms of an enlarged liver:

  • Alcoholic liver disease

  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

  • Viral hepatitis (hepatitis A, B, C, D or E)

  • Liver cancer

Symptoms of Liver Disease

  • Liver abscess

  • Other parasitic infections

  • Relapsing fever

  • Black bowel

  • Persistent vomiting

  • Blood in vomit

  • Recent and unexplained weight loss

Liver Surgery

Your liver may be exposed to a lot while you eat and drink all sorts of foods in quantities and from places that go rather unchecked. Some extreme cases thus make it necessary for you to seek liver surgery where medication has failed to deliver results after a certain point.

Professionals at High Plains Surgical Associates have been dedicated to making the citizens of Gillette, Wyoming healthier and more at ease when it comes to seeking medical care since 1994. Dr. Sara Hartsaw and Dr. Jake Rinker are both excellent General Surgeons and have been working towards making this community more aware about their health along with making better life choices.