The liver trauma is an injury to liver, as per liver trauma doctor. Liver is an abdominal organ located on right side of abdomen.
Liver trauma can occur due to blow to the upper abdomen, which can occur during a road traffic accident or a fall from height. Sharp objects can also injure the liver such as bullet or a knife.
To diagnose a liver injury, liver trauma doctor usually uses a combination of tests.
FAST – (Focused Abdominal Sonography for trauma) – Its a painless imaging test that uses ultrasound waves to determine whether there’s active or significant bleeding in the liver.
CT scan: It is a painless imaging exam that can create images of the inside of your liver. This helps your doctor see how severe a liver injury is and if there’s damage to the deeper parts of your liver.
An angiogram, also known as an arteriogram , produces images of your arteries. Your doctor will use contrast material or dye, given through an IV, to look at the flow of blood. It can tell your doctor if blood is escaping through tears in the walls of the blood vessels in your liver. Ideally, your doctor can use these images to identify and stop the bleeding.
Your doctor can draw blood from a vein and test it to make sure your liver chemistry is healthy. This type of test can show whether you have the right levels of liver enzymes, proteins, and bilirubin in your blood. It can also tell if you have lost a significant amount of blood or have enough of the compounds you need to help your blood to clot.
Doctors can quickly perform most of these tests to determine whether there’s any damage to the liver and how severe it is. If you have other injuries, your doctor may use these and other tests to diagnose those injuries too.
Severe injuries from a blow or punch to the liver may need to be treated with surgery or angioembolization.
For minor blows to the liver, time and close monitoring are the treatments doctors usually recommend.
Thanks to advancements in imaging and treatment, your doctor or healthcare team can watch you carefully to make sure you don’t seem to be losing blood and maintain your blood pressure.
Angioembolization involves sealing off bleeding vessels in the liver to stop blood loss. This treatment modality is useful when a CT scan documents active leakage from the artery in the liver.
While you’re being monitored, you’ll likely need to give frequent blood samples. If you’ve lost a lot of blood, your doctor may recommend a blood transfusion . Or they may suggest transfusing certain blood compounds that help your blood to clot.
In a situation where the bleeding inside the liver does not stop, the doctor may advise surgery. The 1st part of the surgery is udually called ‘Packing’ where the doctor places ‘sponges’ to compress the liver to stop the bleeding. In second part of the surgery which is usually performed after 48 hours, the sponges are removed.