Trauma Survivors Network - provided by ATS

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A Program of the ATS

Liver Laceration

Liver laceration is a physical injury to the liver, the organ located below the right ribs. It is the most commonly injured organ in abdominal trauma from both blunt and penetrating sources. A liver laceration is a tear in the liver tissue. Liver lacerations range in severity from mild to very severe or fatal. Uncontrolled bleeding is the most common problem resulting from liver wounds. When a patient is admitted to the hospital a computed tomography (CT) scan is performed which shows fluid around the area of the body where the liver is located. Symptoms of a lacerated liver may consist of an enlarged and firm abdomen, and tenderness to the right side of the abdomen. Blood tests are drawn every four hours. If these test results show that bleeding has increased, the patient may need an operation. Vital signs such as blood pressure and heart rate are monitored closely. During treatment, patients should remain in bed until the tests show bleeding has stopped. Unless injury is severe patients should recover with no after effects. A follow-up appointment should be made 2-8 weeks after discharge from the hospital. In severe cases when an operation is performed, recovery can be longer. The patient that had an operation will have a large incision in the middle of the abdomen that will require regular dressing changes.