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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Where is it and what does it look like?

The liver is located in the upper right-hand portion of the abdominal cavity, beneath the diaphragm (a sheet of muscle separating the chest and the abdomen), and on top of the stomach, right kidney, and intestines. The gall bladder is attached to the lower portion of the right side of the liver.
Shaped like a cone, the liver is a dark reddish-brown organ that weighs about 1.2 kg. There are two distinct sources that supply blood to the liver:
  1. Oxygenated blood flows in from the hepatic artery
  2. Nutrient-rich blood flows in from the hepatic portal vein
The liver holds about 500ml (13 percent) of the body's blood supply at any given moment.
The liver consists of two main lobes - the right and the left, both of which are made up of thousands of lobules. These lobules are connected to small ducts that connect with larger ducts to ultimately form the hepatic duct. The hepatic duct transports the bile produced by the liver cells to the gallbladder and duodenum (the first part of the small intestine).

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