External Structure

The liver is the largest gland in the body weighing about 1.4 kg in an adult. It is situated under the diaphragm in the upper abdominal cavity and is held in place by several ligaments.

It is a reddish-brown colour and comprises of four anatomical lobes. When viewed from the front, the dominant left and right lobes can be seen which are separated by the falciform ligament.

Situated in a depression on the posterior surface of the liver is the gall bladder, a pear-shaped sac which stores bile synthesised by the liver. The liver performs many vital metabolic functions. It has the ability to store and metabolise useful substances such as nutrients, but it breaks down or detoxifies harmful substances to render them inert and less harmful.