A bruised liver is a form of damage to the liver. The injury is generally caused by vehicular accidents especially when the body smashes into the steering wheel. It can also occur during sports or if an individual fall onto the bicycle handlebars.
What are the signs?
The usual signs of a bruised liver are based on how it was damaged and its seriousness. The characteristic signs are pain and tenderness once the site around the liver is touched, usually in the upper right region of the belly, including beneath the right ribs.
Management of a bruised liver
In case the physical exam and tests do not show any evidence of injury other than a bruise, the treatment generally involves rest and follow-up with a doctor.
Blood tests are taken daily for a few days to assess for any blood loss. A CT scan might also be repeated to ensure that there are no signs of liver damage or internal bleeding.
Unlike with other liver injuries, a bruised liver is usually mild and not dangerous. The recovery is based on the seriousness of the injury. If the injury is from a simple fall, it only requires a few days until the soreness has settled and the liver tests are back to normal. In case the injury is due to a serious vehicular accident, it might take days to weeks for the liver tests to return to normal.
Other treatment options include:
- If the liver blood tests are not normal, the doctor will not provide any medications that might further damage the liver.
- Avoid alcoholic beverages until the liver is back to normal.
- The individual should limit his/her activity level to avoid re-injury of the organ.
Since a bruised liver is likely to occur in accidents, it is not easy to prevent. As a common injury during vehicular accidents, using seat belts provides the ideal protection.