Liver Cirrhosis is a condition characterized by the loss of liver cells and when the healthy tissue is replaced by the scar tissue in the liver. This scarring cannot be reversed. The scar tissue causes the liver to become hard and the organ begins to fail. This scar tissue causes trouble in the flow of blood to the large vein leading to the liver. Liver Cirrhosis can only be cured by a liver transplant. However, the condition can be managed by treating the cause.
- Hepatitis B, C and D.
- Autoimmune Hepatitis.
- Primary biliary cirrhosis.
- Hemochromatosis and Wilson’s disease: Disorders characterized by body’s inability to handle iron and copper.
- Fatty Liver Diseases.
- Medicines like Acetaminophen, antibiotics and anti-depressants.
- Alcohol abuse over a long period of time.
- Hereditary diseases.
- Toxic metals.
- Cystic fibrosis
- biliary atresia
- Infection such schistosomiasis
- Jaundice or yellow discolouration.
- Gynecomastia – development of breast tissues in males.
- Bleeding or bruising easily.
- Ascites – collection of fluid in abdomen.
- Decreased appetite.
- Hepatic encephalopathy – confusion, sleepiness and problems with speech.
- Spider shaped blood vessels under the skin.
- Redness of palms.
- Testicular atrophy in men.
- Itch skin.
- Loss of body weight.
- Edema in legs.
- Nose bleeding.
- Magnetic Resonance Elastography or Transient Elastograpthy: These imaging tests are recommended by the doctor to check for the hardening of liver, thus eliminating the need for a liver biopsy.
- Biopsy: This test is not actually needed but is recommended by the doctors to identify the reason and extent of Liver damage.
- Endoscopy: Doctors recommend endoscopy to look for swelling of blood cells, which is caused by Cirrhosis. It involves inserting a thin, long tube with light and video camera, into the patient’s body through the food pipe, to the stomach.
- Imaging tests: CT scan, MRI and Ultrasound are recommended by he doctor.
- Diagnosis to check liver function: Liver damage can be indicated by the presence of excess bilirubin and enzymes, thus blood is checked for detection.
- Diagnosis to check kidney function: Blood is checked for the presence of creatinine as kidney function decreases in the late stages of Cirrhosis.
- Blood tests to check for Hepatitis B and C.
- International Normalized Ratio is conducted to detect the ability of blood to clot.
- Treatment or counseling for quitting alcohol.
- Beta blockers or nitrates for controlling portal hypertension.
- Hemodialysis to clean the blood of patients affected by kidney failure.
- A low protein diet along with lactulose to help treat encephalopathy.
- Intravenous antibiotics.
- Kidney transplant: Kidney transplant is the only way of treating Liver Cirrhosis completely. This treatment involves the transfer of a healthy liver of a donor into the body of a recipient.
Life after surgery:
Liver transplants are usually a great success. According to the most recent year computed UNOS/OPTN (2004) national average one-year graft survival at 83%, and patient survival at 87% for patients receiving a deceased donor liver and 92% for those transplanted with an organ from a living donor.
After a liver transplant, a patient is recommended to stay in the I.C.U for a few days and then later shifted to the transplant recovery area for 5-10 days. The patient can then go back to normal day-to-day activities. Regular follow-ups are advised and patients have to take the medicines for lifetime.
Risks involved in a liver transplant include:
- Organ rejection.
- Failure of the donated liver.
- Clots of blood.
- Bile duct leaks.
- Shrinking of bile ducts.
- Long-term complications may also include recurrence of liver disease in the transplanted liver.
Prognosis is poor in patients with decomposed Cirrhosis and should go for a liver transplant. The patients who have Ascites and Variceal hemorrhage report a year of survival of less than 50% patients
Average annual costs of treatment of Liver Cirrhosis is estimated to be$17,277 among patients with no cirrhosis, $22,752 among patients with compensated cirrhosis, and $59,995 annually among patients with end-stage liver disease.
In the late 90s, when the first successful liver transplants were done in India, the procedure cost Rs.20 lakh. Now, a resection costs between Rs.3 and 4 lakh and a transplant Rs.20-25 lakh in a private hospital.
New Life Clinics offers a low-risk way to treat Liver Cirrhosis. Our team of experienced and skilled doctors make life at hospital a painless one and guarantee a speedy recovery.