An accumulation of pus in the tissues is called an abscess, and it usually occurs due to bacterial infection. They can manifest themselves in any part of the body. Abscesses can occur in people with a sound immune system, but liver abscesses are uncommon. Abscesses, particularly liver abscesses, are common in people with chronic granulomatous disease (CGD), says Dr. Sanjoy Mandal, who is considered a renowned gastroenterologist in Kolkata.
Causes of Liver Abscess
The possible causes of pyrogenic liver abscess, as listed by the liver doctor in Kolkata, are as follows:
- Abdominal infection, including diverticulitis, perforated bowel, or appendicitis
- Bile duct infection
- Blood infection
- Trauma that causes liver damage
- Recently performed endoscopic biliary drainage
Liver abscess may be caused by staphylococcus aureus infection and other bacterial or fungal infections.
Signs and Symptoms of Liver Abscess
Abscesses in the liver can be difficult to detect. They don’t have any obvious signs. However, there are a few things to keep an eye out for:
- General malaise
- Feeling exhausted and floppy
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Tummy or back pain
- Fever – perhaps mild at first (37.5-37.9 degrees Celsius) and then rising (38-40 degrees Celsius)
Diagnosis of Liver Abscess
If your doctor suspects liver abscess, he may recommend the following examinations and tests:
- Abdominal ultrasound
- Abdominal CT
- Complete blood count
- Blood culture
- Liver function tests
- Liver biopsy
Treatment Options for Liver Abscess
An abscess in the liver is a serious infection. It has the potential to cause serious problems and even death. It has the potential to cause tissue damage in the surrounding area where it is discovered. Fever, pain, nausea, diarrhoea, and a lack of appetite are all possible symptoms. The aim of treatment is to clear the abscess, alleviate symptoms, and avoid complications.
The treatment you get is depends on the cause of the abscess. It also depends on how many and how large the abscesses are, says the liver surgeon in Kolkata. The following treatments can be used:
An antibiotic or antifungal drug is used to treat an abscess first. For a few weeks, you’ll have to take medicine. It’s available as a tablet or a liquid to take by mouth. Alternatively, the drug may be injected into a vein using an IV (intravenous) tube.
Draining the liver abscess
This is something your doctor may perform in addition to prescribing you the medicines. It can also be done if medicine fails or the infection causes other issues. A liver abscess can be drained in a number of ways. A syringe needle may be inserted through the skin into the abscess by your healthcare provider. He or she then drains the fluid with the syringe. Aspiration is the term used to describe this.
Alternatively, the healthcare provider can insert a thin wire into your skin. The provider uses a CT scan or ultrasound to direct the placement of the cable. The wire is then covered with a thin, flexible tube (catheter) and inserted into the abscess. To drain the fluid, the tube is left in place for 5 to 7 days. Surgery to cut into the liver abscess and remove it may be necessary in certain cases.