Before we dive straight into whether living with half a liver is possible, let’s know some unknown facts about this vital human organ.
Living with Half a Liver: Getting to Know the Basics
The reddish-brown, glandular, lobed organ is situated on the right side of your abdominal cavity. It sits on top of the gallbladder right next to the pancreas and the intestines.
Divided into two lobes, the chief function of the liver is to work as a team with these surrounding organs and help digest and absorb the food you eat. The blood that comes from your digestive tract is first filtered by the liver and then sent to the other parts of your body.
Is living with half a liver or no liver possible?
Well, the answer is YES and NO. The liver is one of the most important organs in our body crucial for existence. While we can very well lead a healthy life with just a part of our liver, we sure can’t live without it at all.
This is what will happen if we begin to live without our liver:
- The clotting mechanism in our blood gets affected. Blood doesn’t clot and we will suffer from uncontrolled bleeding.
- No filtration of toxins and chemicals and the digestive byproducts that will start building up in our bloodstream.
- Our body will lack its immunity to fight against bacterial and fungal infections.
- Fatal swelling of the brain may occur.
- Death isn’t far away without a liver.
Interesting facts about the liver
Aside from how you can living with half a liver is possible, here’s a list of ten fascinating facts about the liver that may surprise you.
The liver lives on
If you got 75% of your liver removed today, the remaining 25% will regenerate into a full-sized liver in about 8-15 days. How cool is that?
The new liver will match with the old part of the liver and start functioning the moment it starts regenerating. This is how humans can manage living with half liver and live on. This is the only organ that can regenerate on its own. Hence the name ‘liver’!