So, let's start with looking at that. We'll use that as our framework as we start looking at
other parts of the liver. It is the largest solid organ in the body. You know the largest organ
is actually skin, but we're talking about a solid organ, and that's why the liver wins the prize.
It's about 3 pounds. So, let's add in the other body parts so you have an idea of exactly
where the liver fits. Alright, so we're going to start with a blank canvass and a body. Right?
Now, let's add the important organ landmarks. First, we're going to put the heart in. Now, you
already have laid out in your mind from the heart, we've got the aorta coming out of the left
ventricle. Right? And it's traveling down through the body, and we know that it branched off
of the aorta, will feed the liver with hepatic arteries. Now, out of the right side of the heart,
the atrium there, you've got the vena cava. Right? That's the one that is returning blood from
the liver to that right atrium. Now, let's put the lungs in, and there they are. Alright. Now,
most of us have 2 lungs. Right? We've got them located in there. The next picture I want to
show you is the diaphragm. There you go. We'll lay the diaphragm in there right in the middle.
Now, underneath the diaphragm next I'm going to put in the stomach. Okay, we've got the
stomach and you see how it kind of tucks in there on the left side. Now, I'm going to just drop
in the gallbladder because I want to save the liver for the really big finish. Now, let's put in
the liver. Alright, remember it's the largest solid organ, excluding the skin, we don't consider
that the solid organ, and it weighs about 3 to 3-1/2 pounds. Now, picture something in your
world to help you know how much that represents. Either if you're a coffee drinker, that's
three 1-pound bags of coffee. If you're a baker, it takes 4 sticks of butter to make a pound.
so that would be 3 large boxes of butter, but that's about the average weight of your liver.
So you see where everything is located. We kind of have our landmarks. Now, I want you just
kind of draw on your drawing. What I'd like you to do is take your pen or pencil and draw
around the superior surface of the diaphragm. That's the top of the diaphragm. So draw
around the top of the diaphragm just like we have in this drawing. Okay, the diaphragm, the
reason I had to do that because I wanted to have it locked in your mind that the diaphragm
is a dividing line between my thoracic cavity and my abdominal cavity. So it's the main
respiratory driver for breathing. Right? That's that sheath of skeletal muscle, but it's also the
dividing line from the thoracic cavity to the abdominal cavity. Now, draw a vertical line just
underneath where you did the diaphragm, draw a vertical line and then an intersecting
horizontal line like we have on the screen. Now, it makes it clear why we say that the liver is
in the right upper quadrant of the abdominal cavity because remember the diaphragm is what
separates the thoracic and the abdominal cavities. Now, you'll see that the liver is located on
the right side. It goes for about the 5th rib on the right to the lower border of the ribcage.
So, when you're doing your assessments and you're taking a look at your patients, you'll know
that that's what an average healthy, normal liver should feel like and about where it should