Liver lesion symptoms

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Many liver lesion symptoms arise from benign lesions that are very common in the liver. Most symptoms of benign lesions are not life threatening. However, there are some liver lesion symptoms that are indicators of more serious liver problems and should not be ignored.

In many cases, liver lesion symptoms share many common features regardless of whether they are benign or malignant and should be examined by a doctor for further diagnosis.


According to the California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC), pain is one of the most common symptoms of liver lesions, regardless of whether the lesion is benign or malignant. Most often the pain is the result of the lesion pressing against an adjacent structure in the liver. Compression pain can be felt in lesions that are larger than six centimetres and may radiate outward from the area of the liver.


Bleeding is another symptom cited by the CPMC. Bleeding is rare in hemangiomas, which are the most common of liver lesions and usually benign. However, larger liver lesions like adenomas, which are relatively rare, may result in bleeding. According to the CPMC, approximately 40 per cent of this type of lesion bleeds and is larger than five centimetres in size. Cysts and other types of liver lesions rarely present bleeding symptoms.


Among the very common liver lesion symptoms is a feeling of fullness. According to the CPMC, this can be felt with almost all types of liver lesions and abscesses. The feeling of fullness may extend to the entire upper and even lower abdomen. This symptom is often extremely uncomfortable and is not relieved by taking anti-gas medications. It is often one of the first symptoms that can be felt.


Along with a feeling of fullness, nausea can also be a very early liver lesion symptom. According to the CPMC, nausea can be felt with both benign and malignant liver lesions and cysts. Among the most common of the liver problems with nausea are bile duct cysts, which may also be an indicator of a problem with the gall bladder. This particular problem seems to be more common in women, although the reasons for this are not completely understood. Nausea is the result of bile being blocked in the common bile duct that runs from the gall bladder to the liver.


One of the very common liver lesion symptoms is jaundice. The CPMC indicates that jaundice is the result of malfunction of the liver. This can be common with simple liver cysts in addition to other dysfunction of the liver. Jaundice, which is characterised by the yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes, indicates a build-up of toxins in the blood as the liver fails to filter these poisons correctly. Babies commonly become jaundiced as their liver adjusts to filtering the body's own blood instead of the mother's body providing this function.