Q:

Can you survive without a liver?

A:

Quick Answer

It is impossible to survive without a liver. Unlike some organs, such as the gallbladder and appendix, which can be removed without causing death, the liver is essential to the human body.

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Full Answer

The liver is necessary for life due to some of the functions it performs. These include:

  • Bile production, which helps a person digest and absorb food and gain nutrients
  • Filtration of harmful toxins which would otherwise damage other organs irreparably
  • Allowing blood to clot, preventing fatal internal bleeding
  • Production of essential proteins

The loss of any of these functions is typically fatal, according to Indiana University Health.

Liver tissue is very resilient. While the complete loss of a liver is always terminal, according to the Hepatitis B Foundation, an individual can survive with a liver that is up to 75 percent diseased or removed.

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