The liver

The liver is critical to the body’s metabolic processes. It weighs between approximately one-and-a-half and two kilograms. It is located on the right-hand side of the upper abdomen and is divided into two lobes and several segments. The liver performs several major functions, including synthesizing proteins such as albumin (the most common blood protein), aiding the digestion process and producing bile. The latter is particularly important in breaking down various elements such as medicines and toxic substances. The liver is also responsible for the production of specific coagulation factors.

The liver is very well supplied with blood and can grow back to its normal size within a short time. That is why most parts of the liver can be transplanted. The organ can be removed and transplanted well into old age.

Medical conditions that may lead to transplantation

The following diseases may to lead hepatic impairment or failure: hepatitis B and C, congenital defects of the liver, autoimmune diseases, liver tumours, poisoning due to medicines or fungi and alcohol abuse.

More information on this topic: Liver transplantation (in german)