How to Feel for an Enlarged Liver

Written by lisabetta divita
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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:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Hands

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Instructions

  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.

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