How to Feel for an Enlarged Liver

Written by lisabetta divita
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Email

Alcoholism, liver cancer, hepatitis (liver infection), heart failure and blood disorders are diseases that can cause your liver to be enlarged, according to the Mayo Clinic. A large liver, also known as hepatomegaly, is tender and painful and must be checked immediately. Your doctor can be palpate (feel) your liver during a physical exam when it moves below your rib cage.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Hands

Show MoreHide


  1. 1

    Position the patient face up on a comfortable surface. Make sure the legs are supported.

  2. 2

    Stand on the right side of the patient and place your hands on the right upper part of the patient's stomach and feel for the rib cage.

  3. 3

    Slide your fingers to the lowest part of the rib cage.

  4. 4

    Slide your left hand underneath the patient's back for support.

  5. 5

    With your right hand, hook your fingers underneath the last rib cage and apply firm pressure upwards. Do not let go.

  6. 6

    Ask the patient to take a deep breathe and you should feel the liver's edge if it is enlarged.

Don't Miss

  • All types
  • Articles
  • Slideshows
  • Videos
  • Most relevant
  • Most popular
  • Most recent

No articles available

No slideshows available

No videos available

By using the site, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie policy.