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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Can a enlarged liver come to its normal size?

Answered by
Dr. Enrique Molina

Internal Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 364 Questions

Posted on Thu, 31 Jan 2013 in Liver and Gall Bladder
Question: I wanted to know if my liver which has grown to 18.0 will ever go back to its normal size?

Answered by Dr. Enrique Molina 52 minutes later
It all depends if you have cirrhosis of he liver or not. The fact that you have hepatitis C together with a large liver and spleen is concerning for advanced liver disease, but not necessarily cirrhosis (usually cirrhotic livers become small and shrunken from so much scarring).
You will benefit from visiting a liver specialist or gastroenterologist who can consider performig a liver biopsy to check how advanced is your liver disease, treat rhe hepatitis c if possible.
If you drink alcohol you should definitely stop, and if you are overweight you should lose weight.
Hope that helped, let me know if you have any further questions.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Enrique Molina 8 minutes later
Hello Dr. Molina and thank you for your reply.
Actually I have 0 cirrhosis recently confirmed by blood test. Do not drink (or cook with alcohol) and have not for over 20 years. I am a vegetarian (for over 20 years).
I am not overweight. My gastroenterologist said it could just be that my hep c is over active and therefore the swelling/enlargement. That's fine. However:

My question was now that my liver has enlarged, will it ever decrease in size and / or go back to the normal size? I am asking because if it keeps getting larger and larger over time, how large can it get? What does that imply?

My daughter and I were discussing it and realized we did not know if it can actually decrease in size and if not, what is the projected outcome?

Thanks again.
Answered by Dr. Enrique Molina 24 minutes later
I understand your concern, and the simple answer is: yes, it can decrease in size, back to a normal size. However in order to do that you need to get rid of whatever is damaging your liver, in your case the genotype 2, that is actually an "easy" genotype to treat, with good response rates to current treatments.
As a hepatologist, I do not get terribly concerned about the size of the liver if there are no other issues going on (no heart problems, no liver vessel problems). The largest liver I have seen was about 24cm. We are mostly concerned about the scarring on the liver, mainly in patients with hepatitis C. The only certain way to say how much scarring there is on your liver is with a liver biopsy, although there are many blood tests that can give a good idea about your liver function. The simplest (and cheapest) one is a blood platelet count (which if it is less than 150 000 then it is concerning for liver scarring, and certainly below 100 000).

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

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