How is liver disease treated?
Scar tissue formed in the liver due to advanced liver disease is permanent. The goals of treatment are to cure the disease, if possible; prevent, stop or slow the progression of damage to the liver; and minimize and quickly treat any other complications and coexisting conditions, such as portal hypertension and hemorrhage. Treatment plans include a multifaceted, individualized approach that varies depending on the type of liver disease and underlying cause; your age and medical history; and other individual factors. For example:
Alcoholism treatment includes abstaining from alcohol, which often requires participation in an alcohol treatment program.
Bile duct obstruction is treated by surgical removal or bypass of the blockage and possibly widening of the affected duct.
Liver failure and liver cancer may be treated with a liver transplant in some cases. This major surgical procedure involves using a healthy donor liver to replace a severely diseased liver.
What are the possible complications of liver disease?
Complications of liver disease are serious and life threatening if the condition advances to liver failure. In some cases, you may be able to reduce your risk of serious complications of liver disease by following the treatment plan your health care professional designs specifically for you.
Complications and common coexisting conditions of liver disease include:
Ascites, which is a buildup of fluid and swelling in the abdomen
Esophageal varices, which are swollen veins in the esophagus due to portal hypertension. These bulging veins can burst, leading to life-threatening hemorrhage.
Hepatic encephalopathy, which involves changes in the brain due to an inability of the liver to filter toxins, such as ammonia. Hepatic encephalopathy can lead to coma and death.
Portal hypertension, which is high blood pressure in a large abdominal vein that can lead to esophageal varices and other problems
What is liver disease?
Liver disease, or hepatic disease, is a general term that includes any disease, disorder or condition that affects the liver. The liver is a vital organ located in the right upper area of your abdomen under the ribs. Normal functioning of the liver is crucial to your overall health and life. Liver disease causes liver damage and reduces the liver's ability to perform its vital function... Read more about liver disease introduction
What are the symptoms of liver disease?
Symptoms of liver disease can vary depending on the type of liver disease and individual factors. Early symptoms of liver disease are often not specific and may be confused with symptoms of many other conditions, such as indigestion, viral gastroenteritis, or chronic fatigue syndrome. Early symptoms may include:... Read more about liver disease symptoms
What causes liver disease?
Liver disease is due to a variety of diseases, disorders and conditions that damage the liver. Liver disease usually begins with inflammation and enlargement of the liver, which may be reversible in some cases with prompt treatment. Left untreated, liver inflammation leads to fibrosis (scarring) of the liver tissue that eventually replaces healthy tissue. Scarred liver tissue cannot function normally, but prompt treatment may still reverse damage in some cases.... Read more about liver disease causes