Liver injuries often show specific signs
Individuals usually feel abdominal tenderness and pain, sometimes extending to the shoulder.
To detect liver injuriy, medical professionals use imaging techniques like CT scans or ultrasonography.
Many liver injuries heal naturally without intervention, but some cases require surgery to repair the injury or remove part of the liver.
Treatment and Causes of Liver Injury
The liver can suffer damage from various traumas, including impact from motor vehicle accidents or penetrating injuries like stabbings or gunshots. These injuries range from minor hematomas, small blood collections within the liver, to deep, extensive lacerations.
A primary concern in liver injuries is the risk of severe bleeding, stemming from the liver’s dense blood vessel network. Most bleeding from liver injuries happens within the abdominal cavity, posing serious medical risks and needing immediate attention.
People with severe liver injury often show shock symptoms:
- They experience rapid heart rates.
- Their breathing speeds up.
- They have cold, clammy skin, possibly pale or bluish.
Besides shock symptoms, patients usually have abdominal pain and tenderness from blood irritating abdominal tissues. Significant bleeding can also cause noticeable abdominal swelling. These signs signal a serious condition needing urgent care and treatment.
Doctors mainly use imaging tests like CT scans or ultrasonography to diagnose liver injuries. Sometimes, surgery is vital to fully assess the injury’s extent and control ongoing bleeding, especially in severe cases where imaging doesn’t provide a full picture or when immediate action is required for significant blood loss.
While some liver injuries heal independently, hospitalizing and closely monitoring patients is crucial to prevent escalating bleeding. Doctors may give blood transfusions in some cases. If bleeding persists or intensifies, they generally first try less invasive control methods, like embolization. This procedure involves inserting a catheter into groin blood vessels and guiding it to the liver. Doctors then inject substances through the catheter to stop the bleeding vessels.
If embolization fails to halt the bleeding, or if the initial bleeding was too severe, surgery usually becomes necessary. In cases of extreme bleeding, embolization might not suffice, making surgery the more effective, immediate option to manage the bleeding and treat the injury.