Cirrhosis is a late stage of scarring (fibrosis) of the liver caused by many forms of liver diseases and conditions, such as hepatitis and chronic alcoholism. The liver carries out several necessary functions, including detoxifying harmful substances in your body, cleaning your blood and making vital nutrients.
Cirrhosis occurs in response to damage to your liver. Each time your liver is injured, it tries to repair itself. In the process, scar tissue forms. As cirrhosis progresses, more and more scar tissue forms, making it difficult for the liver to function. The liver damage done by cirrhosis generally can’t be undone. But if liver cirrhosis is diagnosed early and the cause is treated, further damage can be limited and, rarely, reversed.
Cirrhosis often has no signs or symptoms until liver damage is extensive. When signs and symptoms do occur, they may include fatigue, bruising and bleeding easily, jaundice, swelling in your legs, weight loss and breast enlargement in men, to name a few.
Prevention of Liver disease
Do not drink alcohol if you have cirrhosis. If you have liver disease but do not have cirrhosis, talk to your doctor about whether you may drink alcohol at all. For healthy adults, that means up to one drink a day for women of all ages and men over age 65, and up to two drinks a day for men age 65 and younger.
Eat a healthy diet. Choose a plant-based diet that’s full of fruits and vegetables. Select whole grains and lean sources of protein. Reduce the amount of fatty and fried foods you eat. Caffeinated coffee may protect against fibrosis and liver cancer.
Maintain a healthy weight. An excess amount of body fat can damage your liver. Talk to your doctor about a weight-loss plan if you are obese or overweight.
Reduce your risk of hepatitis. Sharing needles and having unprotected sex can increase your risk of hepatitis B and C. Ask your doctor about hepatitis vaccinations.
In the case of extensive liver damage, cirrhosis can only be cured by having a Liver Transplantation. Liver transplantation or hepatic transplantation is the replacement of a diseased liver with the healthy liver from another person. Liver transplantation is a treatment option for end-stage liver disease and acute liver failure, although availability of donor organs is a major limitation. The most common technique is orthotropic transplantation, in which the native liver is removed and replaced by the donor organ in the same anatomic position as the original liver. The surgical procedure is complex, requiring careful harvest of the donor organ and meticulous implantation into the recipient. Liver transplantation is highly regulated, and only performed at designated transplant medical centers by highly trained transplant physicians and supporting medical team. The duration of the surgery ranges from 4 to 18 hours depending on outcome.
In children, due to their smaller abdominal cavity, there is only space for a partial segment of liver, usually the left lobe of the donor’s liver. This is also known as a “split” liver transplant. In children, living liver donor transplantations have become very accepted. The accessibility of adult parents who want to donate a piece of the liver for their children/infants has reduced the number of children who would have otherwise died waiting for a transplant. Having a parent as a donor also has made it a lot easier for children – because both patients are in the same hospital and can help boost each other’s morale.