Liver Abscess Drainage Liver Abscess Drainage

Liver Abscess Drainage

Liver Abscess Drainage

Liver Abscess: A liver abscess is a pocket of pus that forms in the liver.

How does it forms:

A liver abscess most often occurs because of infection from germs such as bacteria, parasites, or fungi. The type of germ determines what type of liver abscess you have:

  • Bacteria cause a pyogenic liver abscess
  • Parasites cause an amoebic liver abscess
  • Fungi cause a fungal liver abscess

How infection Spread to Liver

  • Through infection of other organs in abdomen such as the gallbladder, bile ducts, bowels, or appendix
  • Travelled through bloodstream to liver from distant areas of the body
  • Happened after surgery or an injury to your liver


  • Fever, chills, sweats
  • General discomfort or sick feeling
  • Pain in the upper right part of the belly
  • Weight loss
  • Nausea, vomiting, or both
  • Diarrhoea, constipation, or both
  • Cough
  • Chest pain or shoulder pain
  • Yellowish eyes and skin (jaundice)

What are the risk factors for a liver abscess?

Risk factors for pyogenic liver abscess include:

  • Crohn’s disease
  • Current, primary abdominal or gastrointestinal infection
  • Diabetes
  • Recent abdominal surgery
  • Recent endoscopy of the bile-draining tubes

Risk factors for amoebic liver abscess include:

  • Advanced age
  • Alcoholism or heavy alcohol ingestion
  • Compromised immune system due to such conditions as HIV/AIDS or other immunodeficiencies, taking corticosteroids, organ transplant, or cancer and cancer treatment
  • Poor nutritional status
  • Travel to regions where amoebic infections are common

Treatment for liver abscess

Treatment depends on the type of liver abscess.

A sample of pus is taken out through a needle and sent for examination. Blood tests and cultures of the blood for infection are done. In many cases, treatment starts in the hospital and continues at home. Treatment may include:

  • Medical Treatment: Antibiotics (Intravenous/Oral)
  • Draining the pus from the abscess through a needle or tube (catheter).
  • In severe cases, Like in large liver abscess with complications, surgical treatment is required. Surgery can be done by open (Conventional) method, by giving a large incision in abdomen or through Laparoscopic approach.

Possible complications of liver abscess

  • Empyema (pus accumulation in the chest)
  • Endocarditis (inflammation of the heart lining and heart valves)
  • Liver failure
  • Pleural effusion (accumulation of fluid around the lungs)
  • Sepsis (life-threatening blood infection)
  • Spread of infection
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