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Last Updated: Jan 10, 2023

Liver Abscess - Causes & Treatments Available For It!

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Dr. Sharad DagaGeneral Surgeon • 12 Years Exp.MBBS, DNB - General Surgery
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A pyogenic liver abscess (PLA) is a condition where pus collects in the liver in the form of a pocket as a result of bacterial infection. Pus formation occurs when the body tries to fight off any infection. The pus is basically a fluid-like substance that comprises dead cells as well as white blood cells. During PLA, the pus accumulates inside the liver pocket instead of draining off from the site of infection.

Those suffering from pyogenic liver abscess are likely to suffer from conditions such as inflammation and swelling. Patients may also suffer from pain experienced in the abdominal area. If the disease is left untreated, it can prove to be fatal.


Pyogenic Liver Abscess can occur because of the biliary disorder. The biliary disease is an umbrella term for a few conditions that might affect areas of the body such as the pancreas, liver and gallbladder. Certain other risks and causes include-

• Bacterial growth from an appendix that has become ruptured and has formed an abscess
Colon cancer
Pancreatic cancer
• Inflammatory diseases of the bowel tract such as perforated bowel or diverticulitis
• Septicemia or blood infection
• PLA could also have been brought about by a trauma to the liver as a result of an injury or accident.

Treatment of Pyogenic Liver Abscess

In order to come to a conclusion about the condition, the doctor will need to run a number of imaging as well as blood culture tests.

• Initially, the health care provider will aim to treat your condition with antibiotics alone. This is because antibiotics help in preventing the chances of the bacteria spreading throughout the body. As opposed to the earlier preference of surgical drainage form, nowadays, percutaneous drainage of the pus is preferred as the first line of treatment. However, if your case has reached the more severe stage then surgery will be required to remove the abscess.

• A liver abscess surgery is performed using general anaesthesia. During the surgery, the surgeon will insert a needle into the diseased liver, and place a catheter to remove the pus. After the surgery, you will be prescribed antibiotics for a number of weeks in order to completely remove the infection that has spread to your body.

The antibiotic course occurs in two phases-

• Intravenous - The intravenous course of antibiotics helps in the healing process in the earlier stages.
• Oral - this can extend for several weeks.

Pyogenic Liver Abscess if left untreated can turn fatal for the person suffering from it. You should immediately seek out medical help if you notice symptoms of PLA such as vomiting, dark-coloured urine, diarrhoea, chills, rapid weight loss and fever. A prompt treatment is important for quick healing.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult a specialist & get answers to your questions!



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