WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
- A liver abscess is a collection of pus in the liver caused by bacteria, fungi, or parasites. It may occur as a single lesion or as multiple lesions of different sizes. It is commonly caused by an infection with bacteria (germs) or ameba (parasite that causes diarrhea). A bacterial liver abscess often happens after an abdominal (stomach) infection. This may include infections of the bile ducts caused by gallstones, infection in the intestines, or appendicitis. Pain on the right upper part of your abdomen, fever, and night sweats are common signs and symptoms. You may also have loss of appetite, nausea (upset stomach), vomiting (throwing up), or unplanned weight loss. Sometimes, cough, trouble breathing, or yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes, may be present.
- A liver abscess may be diagnosed by blood or imaging tests that take pictures of your abdomen. These may include x-rays, liver scan, ultrasound, computerized tomography (CT) scan, and a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Treatment will depend on the cause, size, and location of your liver abscess. It will also depend on whether you have a single or multiple abscesses. Medicines may be given to kill the infection and ease your symptoms. Caregivers may drain the abscess or do surgery to help remove the pus in your liver. With treatment and care, your abscess may be cured and serious problems may be prevented.
Take your medicine as directed.
Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Ask for information about where and when to go for follow-up visits:
For continuing care, treatments, or home services, ask for more information.
Do not drink alcohol:
Some people should not drink alcohol. These people include those with certain medical conditions or who take medicine that interacts with alcohol. Alcohol includes beer, wine, and liquor. Tell your caregiver if you drink alcohol. Ask him to help you stop drinking.
CONTACT A CAREGIVER IF:
- You have a fever.
- You have a cough, red or swollen skin, or feel weak and achy.
- Your skin has a rash.
- Your wound is tender, swollen, or has pus coming from it.
- You have questions or concerns about your liver abscess, medicine, or care.
SEEK CARE IMMEDIATELY IF:
- You have vomiting or seizures (convulsions).
- You have pain in your abdomen (stomach) or it feels fuller than normal.
- You have trouble breathing all of a sudden.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.