Can you Live Without a Liver

The liver performs important functions, supporting life. While you cannot live without a liver completely, you can live with only one part. Most people can work well with just under half of their liver. Your liver can grow and return to full size within a few months.

can you live without a liver0

What are the roles of Liver?

Your liver is strong, performing more than 500 life-support functions. This 3-pound [3 kg] organ - the largest internal organ in the body - is located in the upper right part of your abdomen. It does the following:

  • filters toxins from your blood

  • produces digestive enzymes called bile

  • stores vitamins and minerals

  • it regulates hormones and the body’s response

  • it helps to collect blood

Your liver is the only organ in your body that can regenerate after its parts have been removed or damaged. In fact, your liver may grow back to its full size in just a few months.

So, if the liver is regenerated, can you live without it for some time?

Can you live without one part of liver?

No. The liver is so important in existence that even if you can only live with half the liver, you cannot live without the liver at all. Without liver:

  • your blood will not clot properly, causing uncontrolled bleeding

  • toxins and chemicals and digestive processes will build up in the blood

  • you will have less protection against bacterial and fungal infections

  • you can have inflammation, including fatal inflammation of the brain

  • Without liver, death would be possible within a few days.

Reasons of Liver Failure

A liver can fail for a number of reasons.

1. Acute Liver Failure

Acute liver failure, also known as fulminant hepatic failure, leads to instant liver deterioration, often when the liver was previously completely healthy. According to research, it’s very rare, happening yearly in fewer than 10 people per million.

Causes of Acute Liver Failure

Following are the causes of acute liver failure:

  • viral infections
  • drug toxicity, often due to overdoses of acetaminophen (Tylenol)

Symptoms of Acute Liver Failure
Here are the symptoms of acute liver failure:

  • jaundice, which causes yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes
  • abdominal pain and swelling
  • nausea
  • mental disorientation

2. Chronic Liver Failure

The other kind of liver failure is known as chronic liver failure. It’s mainly caused by inflammation and scarring that occurs over a period of months or years.

Causes of Chronic Liver Failure

This overall liver destruction is often due to following:

  • alcohol misuse
  • infections, including hepatitis A, B and C
  • liver cancer
  • genetic diseases, such as Wilson’s disease
  • nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

Symptoms of Chronic Liver Failure

Here are some symptoms of chronic liver failure:

  • swollen abdomen
  • jaundice
  • nausea
  • vomiting blood
  • easy bruising
  • muscle loss

reasons of liver failure

Is liver a death sentence?

Liver failure is not a death sentence. Depending on your health and the health of your liver, you may be eligible for liver transplantation, surgical removal of a diseased liver with a piece or all of a healthy donor donation.

Types of Liver Donor Transplant

There are two types of liver donor transplants:

1. Deceased Donor Transplant

This means that the liver is taken from a person who has just passed away.

The person would have signed the donor’s physical card before his or her death. The framework can also be donated by postmortem with family permission. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases reports that most of the donated livers come from deceased donors.

2. Live Donor Transplant

In this process, the surviving person, usually a family member or close friend, agrees to donate a part of their healthy liver. One study, Trusted Source, found that of the 6,455 liver transplants performed in 2013, only 4 percent came from live donors.

Your doctor may recommend an orthotopic or heterotopic implant.

Orthotopic Transplant

In an orthotopic transplant, the diseased liver is completely removed and the liver of a healthy donor or part of the liver replaced.

Heterotopic Transplant

In a heterotopic transplant, a damaged liver is left in place and a healthy liver or part of the liver is inserted. Although bone marrow transplants are the most common, only one heterotopic can be suggested if:

  • your health is so weak you may not be able to withstand complete surgery to remove the liver

  • your liver disease has a genetic predisposition

The doctor may choose a heterotopic implant if your liver failure is caused by a genetic condition that future genetic research may find a cure or effective treatment. With the courage of your liver, you can take advantage of this new development.

Is it possible to live with liver’s part of one?

Even though you can only receive a partial liver, your doctors will make sure it is big enough to do all the necessary operations. In fact, one orthopedic surgeon at the University of Pittsburgh estimates that you need only 25 to 30 percent of your liver to maintain normal function.

In time, the liver will grow to its normal size. Experts are not sure how the liver regeneration occurs, but they do know that when the liver is reduced in size by surgery, a cellular response is activated that produces rapid recovery.

Partial liver removal in living donor transplantation

People who receive liver transplants usually have a full organ transplant. The liver may be divided, however, if it is too large or separated between the child and the adult.

Those with a live liver donation, usually from a healthy relative or friend based on size and blood type, receive only a piece of liver. Some people choose this option because they do not want to risk getting sick as they wait for a list of organ that may or may not arrive on time.

According to the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health:

  • About 40 to 60 percent of the donor’s liver is removed and placed in the recipient.

  • Both the receiver and the donor will have enough of a liver to ensure proper operation.

  • Liver development begins almost immediately.

  • Within two weeks, the liver is near to normal size.

  • Complete growth or near total regrowth is achieved within a year.

In the United States, 14,000 people are currently on the waiting list for transplanted liver transplants. Of those, 1,400 will die before they can get one.

Although uncommon, the living contribution of the liver is very evident. In 2017, another 367 liver donations were donated by live donors.

The great advantage of a living liver donation is that the surgery can be scheduled when it is convenient for both parties. In addition, the liver may be donated before the recipient becomes seriously ill. This can increase survival rates.

To be considered for living liver donation you must:

  • be between 18 and 60 years old

  • have a blood type corresponding to the recipient

  • examined thoroughly physically and mentally

  • have a healthy weight, because being overweight is a risk factor for fatty liver disease, which damages the liver

  • be determined not to drink alcohol until you have recovered

  • have a normal life

partial liver removal in living donor transplantation

Can the patient survive a long life without liver transplant?

Liver transplantation is only recommended for those patients with a predictable survival of less than 10%. There is therefore no question that a patient lives longer without a liver transplant if he or she really needs it depending on the state of his or her liver function. Normal survival usually lasts for a few months without a liver transplant.

It is the basis for pseudoscientific oversimplification to measure liver damage using percentages unless the damage is the result of a tumor whose volume can be calculated using a CT scan. In many cases the liver is damaged by a chronic liver disease that affects the entire liver to varying degrees but the difference is not so noticeable or as measurable as a percentage.

Most nurses use pediatric points or meld points calculated based on the deterioration of liver function to differentiate the level of liver damage. It is an axiomatic to believe that liver regeneration can compensate for the deterioration of function as long as at least 30% of cells remain undiagnosed and that strong sequelae of liver damage occur only when this reserve is at risk.

Liver transplant is a useful procedure in case of critical liver pathologies like cirrhosis, hepatitis B, C, D, congenital fibrosis of the liver and other disorders. This procedure is recommended only as a last resort if nothing else can help.

Frequently Asked Questions

Following are the frequently asked questions related to this topic:

1. What organs can you live without?

Here are some of the “non-vital organs”.

  • Spleen: This organ sits on the left side of the abdomen, towards the back under the ribs.
  • Stomach.
  • Reproductive organs.
  • Colon.
  • Gallbladder.
  • Appendix.
  • Kidneys

2. What happens when your liver fails?

Liver failure means that your liver loses all of its function. A life-threatening condition that requires urgent medical attention. The first symptoms of liver failure are often nausea, loss of appetite, fatigue and diarrhea.

3. Do livers grow back?

The liver is the only solid internal organ that is capable of full regeneration. This means the remaining portion of your liver will regenerate after surgery.

4. How long does liver failure take to kill?

If up to 50 to 60 percent of the liver cells may be died within three to four days in a severe case like a Tylenol overdose, the liver will repair completely after 30 days if no complications arise.

5. Does donating a liver shorten your life?

Whether you donate a part of your liver or get a new one, life usually returns to normal within a few months after surgery. By the time you hit the 3 month mark, your liver will reach its normal size and you will return to your normal routine.


Once the liver has been removed, the two blood vessels that carry the liver will need to be returned to the circulatory system. While it is assumed that the portal vein can be anastomosed directly in the hepatic artery or inferior vena cava, it is hard to believe that there will be a vessel capable of flowing from the hepatic artery. Therefore, the pipes alone pose a major problem.

Next, we have the problem of living without a liver. This would not be possible, since the liver is involved in various processes such as glucose metabolism, protein synthesis, bile distribution, and the excretion of various waste products. There will be a lot of ammonia from the vaccinated proteins, eventually leading to seizures, loss of saturated protein, eventually leading to life-threatening bleeding, and finally vascular collapse due to lack of albumin.

Related Articles

Can we live without a liver? Is it one of the most frequently asked questions by people these days? The answer is simply No! Because the liver is the largest organ and the main powerhouse of the human body, you can’t survive without a liver. It is naturally designed to perform more than 500 major functions as they help in Processing nutrients, Breaking down fats, Storing vitamins, Metabolizing proteins and Breaking down old blood cells, etc. So can’t live without a liver, but we possibly survive with one part of a liver.

Can we survive without a liver?

The liver is the largest and the most important internal organ of the human body. This 3-pound internal organ plays an essential role in the development stages of the body. Our body can’t work properly without some organs, of which the liver is one of them. Situated on the upper-right corner of the body, the liver plays many vital roles such as:
• Plays an essential role in filtering toxins from your blood
• produces different Digestive enzymes called bile
• Helps to store essential vitamins and minerals
• regulates hormones and strengthens the immune system to fight against germs and harmful substances
• Increasing blood clotting protein to reduce blood loss during injury.

Your liver is the lone organ in your body that can regrow after pieces of it have been taken out or harmed. Truth be told, your liver can develop back to its full measure in simply an issue of months. Anyway, if the liver recovers, would you be able to live without one for any timeframe? We should investigate.
If you don’t have any liver in your body, then you are more likely to face a lot of diseases like:
• The body will face a blood-clotting protein deficiency which will lead to uncontrolled blood loss and eventually death will occur.
• The liver produces a liquid which we commonly call, bile. Bile helps in removing all the toxins and chemicals from the blood. With the absence of the liver, all the digestive byproducts, harmful chemicals, and toxins will build up in the blood.
• Lake ok immune response will expose your body to fungal infection and bacterial attacks more than often.
• you may face swellings on various parts of your body even brain swelling can also occur which can be fatal.

Is it possible to live with one part of the liver?

Even though you may get just an incomplete liver, your primary care physicians will ensure it’s large enough to play out every single vital function which is assigned to a liver by nature. Indeed, one transfer specialist at the College of Pittsburgh appraises that you just need 25 to 30 percent of your liver to keep up typical capacities.

The liver is undoubtedly one of the few organs in the body, which can grow back, in case you lose any part of it. Over the long haul, the liver will develop to about its typical size. Specialists aren’t sure precisely how liver recovery happens, however, they do realize that when a liver is carefully decreased in size, a cell reaction is initiated that produces fast regrowth

Can we die when our liver fails to work?

Liver failure is a term in which your liver isn’t functioning admirably enough to play out its major role (for instance, producing bile and freeing the assortment of destructive substances). Indications incorporate sickness, loss of craving, and blood in the stool. Medicines incorporate staying away from the liquor and dodging certain food varieties.

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, Hepatitis B and C, hemochromatosis, and alcohol abuse result in various fatal diseases of which the most deadly one is liver failure.

chronic liver failure is more to occur from a disease called cirrhosis, which is the scarring of the liver resulting from long-lasting or repeated injury, such as by consuming an excessive amount of alcohol over a long period. As the healthy liver tissue changes into the scar one, the liver fails to work properly hence liver failure occurs

Acute liver failure is most often caused by:
• Viral infections, such as Hepatitis B.
• The overuse of carcinogenic drugs or toxins, like anti-seizure medications, antifungal drugs) and herbs (green tea extract and kava) antidepressants, man-made hormones, acetaminophen (Tylenol®), and the use of other medications (including certain antibiotics.
• Metabolic (biologic) or vascular (vessels that convey liquids, like courses) messes, like Wilson sickness and immune system hepatitis.

A liver failure can occur for several reasons. According to research, over 10 million people in the world are commonly fighting liver failure:
Symptoms include
• yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes due to a disease called jaundice
• abdominal pain and swelling
• nausea
• mental disorientation
• vomiting blood
• easy bruising
• muscle loss


• alcohol misuse
• infections, including hepatitis A, B, and C
• liver cancer
genetic diseases, such as Wilson’s disease
nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

How is liver failure treated?

The specialist which is concerned with the treatment of Liver failure and liver diseases are called hepatologists.

Liver failure can be acute and it may be chronic. Your doctor will tell you whether you are diagnosed with chronic liver failure or acute liver failure. On this basis, they will treat you.

For chronic liver failure, the following treatment is expected to be done;

• the attendant will ask you to Avoid alcohol and all the drug medications which are causing harm to the liver
• Minimize the quantity of cheese, eggs, and red meat in your diet to treat chronic liver failure.
• Weight reduction and control of metabolic danger factors, including hypertension and diabetes
• Eliminating salt in the eating regimen (counting not adding salt to food)

Following are the treatments for acute liver failure:

• Intravenous (IV) fluids to maintain blood pressure;
• to flush out the poisonous toxins out you should so medications such as enemas or laxatives.
• To maintain the blood sugar level, the doctor will recommend you to some glucose.
Due to the reduction of blood clotting proteins, blood deficiency increases. To main the blood level, you may also receive donor blood, or an oxygen tube to help you breathe.

Be it be acute or chronic liver failure, the specialist will suggest a liver transplant.
During the transplantation medical procedure, a solid liver from a living or perished donor replaces a harmed or infected liver. Some transfer places can supplant a harmed liver with a bit of a sound liver in light of the fact that the liver can recover, or develop back.

How to Become a Living Liver Donor?

With more than 15,000 individuals hanging tight for a liver transfer, living-giver liver transfers save lives.
So in spite of the fact that you can’t survive without your liver, you can impart part of it to another person out of luck.

To be a living liver donor, you must:
• Be between the ages of 18 and 55
• Your liver must be good general health
Have no history of:
• Any kind of Liver disease including cirrhosis, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C
• Heart disease
• Diabetes
Different sicknesses could convolute the medical procedure, including obesity, sugar, or cancer.
For further queries about liver transplants, consult your doctor.
Which foods are healthy and unhealthy for your liver?

1. Oatmeal:

High-fiber food is best for your liver health. Try oatmeal. Research shows that oatmeal plays a vital role in melting extra pounds and belly fat, which is the best way to avoid any liver disease.

• Stay Away From Fatty Foods

Junk food like pizza, french fries, rolls, and burgers are a source to make your liver unhealthy. Many saturated fatty acid foods can make it difficult for your liver to remove any excess toxins out from the blood.


1. Can liver grow back?

Yes, liver grow back.Liver is one of the human organ which can regenrate 30 percent.

2. Can i donate my liver?

Yes it is safe to donate your liver. Your liver can easily regrow in the course of three months only. So you can donate your liver without any tension.

3. What are the symptoms of liver failure?
Following are the symptoms of liver failure:

  • Abdominal swelling (ascites)
  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting.
  • A general sense of feeling unwell (malaise)
  • Disorientation or confusion.
  • Sleepiness.

4. What are the stages of liver failure?

Liver cancer

5. What are the causes of liver failure

  • Prescription medications
  • Herbal supplements.
  • Hepatitis
  • Toxins.
  • Autoimmune disease.
  • Metabolic disease.