Why Organ Donation

The Liver

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The liver is the largest organ in your body. It is about the size of a football. It has two main lobes (sections). The right lobe is larger than the left lobe. The liver is found in your abdomen, just under your right rib cage. Most of the time you cannot feel your liver.

The liver has many functions that are needed to sustain life.

Your liver helps:

  • Make clotting factors that prevent bleeding
  • Filter chemicals and "wastes" out of the blood (e.g., medicine, alcohol, etc.)
  • Aid digestion
  • Make muscle out of proteins (nutrients)
  • Store extra nutrients for later use

The liver is a sturdy organ. Often, a damaged liver can heal itself. Even if almost 70% of the liver is damaged, it can still work. However, long term liver disease still causes damage that makes it harder for the liver to work.

There are many causes of liver disease, e.g.

  • Cancer
  • Alcohol abuse
  • An inherited condition
  • Infection, or an injury, like hepatitis B and C
  • Autoimmune diseases (your immune system can "attack" your liver and cause damage)
  • Certain drugs if not taken properly

When disease or damage causes liver failure, the liver can no longer repair itself and forms scar tissue known as cirrhosis.

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