Can You Live Without a Liver?

Your liver is located in the upper-right portion of your body. It's under the diaphragm and consists of four lobes. Your liver receives about 1.5 quarts of blood every minute through the portal vein and hepatic artery. It is the largest glandular organ and weighs about 3 pounds. It performs several crucial functions in your body and helps get toxins out of your body. Since it is so important, the answer to your question, "Can you live without a liver?" should be obvious. Keep reading to learn more.

Can You Live Without a Liver?

No, you cannot. It is impossible to live without a liver. It's not like some of your other organs, such as the gallbladder or appendix, which you can live without. The liver performs some critical functions in your body. For instance, it produces bile that helps you with digestion. It also filters harmful toxins and throws them out of your body. Your liver is also responsible for helping your blood to clot, thus preventing fatal internal bleeding. It also produces a number of essential proteins. Without liver, your body cannot deal with toxins and absorb nutrients required for healthy living. It is, however, important to mention that you can still live even if 75% of your liver is removed or diseased.

Can You Live with Part of the Liver?

If the answer to "Can you live without a liver" is a big NO, then how about live with part of your liver? To answer this question, you should know one impressive thing about a liver first – it can regenerate and grow to its normal size eventually after you lost part of it because of a chemical injury or a surgical removal. In fact, little as 25 % of liver mass can grow back to its full size through replication of the liver cells. And the magic part of it is even when your liver is undergoing a regeneration process, the original function of your liver will not get affected. It is due to this particular reason that you can live healthily even when with 25% of a liver. So if you are going to donate part of your liver to someone else, don't be panic, your doctor will only take a small portion of your liver and it will grow back and work normally.

Body Organs That You Can Live Without or with Only Part of

Now, you know the answer to the question, "Can you live without a liver?" you may wonder about other body organs that you can live without or live with part of.

Body Organs That You Can Live Without



A kidney

You may have only one kidney at the time of birth, removed one because of some illnesses or donation, but you can still live a healthy life. You can even live without any kidneys as long as you go for dialysis regularly.


More than 250,000 people in the United States deal with appendicitis every year. Researchers believe that the appendix is a kind of safe house for probiotics or good bacteria in your gut. But if you remove it because of appendicitis, there seems no problem of your whole body's function.


Some stomach cancer patients have to live without a stomach. In this case, your doctor will connect your esophagus to your small intestine. You can live this way, but your body may not be able to absorb some vitamins.


Your spleen is a purple, fish-shaped organ located on the left side of your stomach. It is a part of your immune system and checks your blood for the presence of any infections. It also cleans your blood of used red blood cells. Your immune system can detect infections in other ways, so you can actually live without a spleen.

Gall bladder

Your doctor may decide to remove your gallbladder if you have gallbladder dysfunction. You can still live healthily in the absence of this bile-storing pouch.

Reproductive organs

You can live without the ovaries, testicles and even uterus. In the United States, about 1 in 3 women have removed their uteruses to treat pelvic pain, uterine fibroids, cancer, etc. And men may remove the testicles to treat testicular cancer or other related problems.

Sensory organs

It is possible to live a healthy life without your sensory organs such as ears, eyes, and nose. You may have met some people who live like that.

Body Organs That You Can Live with Only Part of

Just like some body organs you can live without, there are some body organs that perform critical functions and are vital for your wellbeing. You already have the answer to "Can you live without a liver?", and know you can live with part of it; here are two other organs that you can live with a part of.




You cannot live without any intestines – you need part of large and small intestine to digest food and keep living.


It is possible to live with half a brain. Many patients with severe seizures have the brain's two hemispheres removed to control this medical condition. They can still manage to live well after this procedure. There are certain side effects, however, associated with this removal.

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