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Location of the liver

The liver is located under the ribs on the right hand side of the body. It lies just below the lungs, under the top of the diaphragm to which it is attached. The diaphragm is the muscle beneath the lungs regulating our breathing. The liver is partly protected by the rib cage. In fact it is so tightly packed into the ribcage that a slight impression is often left on the top of the liver.


The liver is the largest organ in the body. It is shaped like a wedge and weighs between 1.2 and 1.5kg. It is about 5 inches across and about 7 inches diagonally across. It is divided into two main lobes, the right and the left. Fibrous ligaments separate the two lobes on the underside. The right lobe is the larger of the two and has two smaller lobes of its own. All the lobes of the liver perform the same functions. The whole of the liver is encased in a protective fibro-elastic sheath called ‘Glisson’s capsule’.