Liver cirrhosis, a chronic disease, involves the gradual replacement of healthy liver tissue with scar tissue, eventually impeding the liver's ability to function properly. The Liver Cirrhosis Department in a medical facility specializes in the treatment and management of this condition.
Liver cirrhosis typically develops over many years and can be attributed to various causes, including chronic alcohol abuse, viral hepatitis (hepatitis B and C), and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. The progression is generally slow, often without symptoms until significant liver damage has occurred. Early stages of cirrhosis are often asymptomatic. Diagnosis may occur incidentally during routine health checks or investigations for other health issues.
Conditions Treated By Liver Cirrhosis Department
- Chronic Liver Disease and Cirrhosis: Management of the underlying liver disease that leads to cirrhosis, which can be due to chronic alcohol abuse, viral hepatitis (especially hepatitis B and C), non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), and other liver conditions.
- Portal Hypertension: A common complication of cirrhosis where blood pressure in the portal vein system increases, leading to issues like varices and ascites.
- Ascites: Accumulation of fluid in the abdomen, often treated with diuretics, paracentesis, and dietary modifications.
- Esophageal and Gastric Varices: Enlarged veins in the esophagus and stomach, which can bleed. Treatments include endoscopic banding, sclerotherapy, and medication to reduce portal pressure.
- Hepatic Encephalopathy: A decline in brain function due to the liver's inability to remove toxins from the blood. Treatment typically involves dietary changes and medications to reduce toxin production and absorption.
- Spontaneous Bacterial Peritonitis (SBP): Infection of the fluid in the abdominal cavity, a complication of ascites, treated with antibiotics.
- Hepatorenal Syndrome: A form of kidney failure that occurs in advanced cirrhosis, requiring specialized management.
- Hepatopulmonary Syndrome and Portopulmonary Hypertension: Lung complications of cirrhosis, managed with specific medical therapies and in severe cases, liver transplantation.
- Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC): Liver cancer, which can develop as a complication of cirrhosis, is managed with various treatments depending on the stage, including resection, ablation, embolization, and liver transplantation.
- Coagulopathy and Anemia: Blood clotting disorders and anemia associated with cirrhosis are managed with medications and blood transfusions as needed.
Common Procedures & Diagnostic Techniques
- Liver Function Tests: Blood tests evaluate the liver's ability to perform its normal functions, such as producing protein and clearing bilirubin, a blood waste product.
- Imaging Studies: Procedures like ultrasound, CT scans, or MRI scans to assess liver damage, detect the presence of cirrhosis, and monitor its progression.
- Liver Biopsy: A procedure to remove a small sample of liver tissue for laboratory analysis, helping to confirm the diagnosis of cirrhosis and determine its severity.
- Endoscopic Variceal Ligation or Sclerotherapy: These are treatments for varices (enlarged veins in the esophagus or stomach) that can bleed due to portal hypertension associated with cirrhosis.
- Transjugular Intrahepatic Portosystemic Shunt (TIPS): A procedure to create a channel within the liver to bypass the portal circulation, reducing high blood pressure in the portal vein and preventing complications like variceal bleeding and ascites.
- Paracentesis: A procedure to remove fluid that has accumulated in the abdominal cavity (ascites) due to cirrhosis. This can relieve discomfort and is also used to test for infection or other complications.
- Management of Hepatic Encephalopathy: This may include the use of medications like lactulose or rifaximin to reduce the buildup of toxins in the brain, a complication of advanced cirrhosis.
- Ultrasound Surveillance for Hepatocellular Carcinoma: Regular ultrasound examinations are recommended for patients with cirrhosis to monitor for the development of liver cancer.
- Albumin Infusions: Used to treat patients with cirrhosis who have low levels of albumin, a protein made by the liver.
- Nutritional Support and Management: Dietary modifications and nutritional support, often guided by a dietitian, are crucial in managing liver cirrhosis.
- Vaccinations: Patients with liver cirrhosis are often advised to have vaccinations, including those for hepatitis A and B, influenza, and pneumococcal disease, to prevent infections.
- Liver Transplant Evaluation: For patients with advanced cirrhosis, evaluation for liver transplantation may be necessary.
Advantages Of The Liver Cirrhosis Department
- Expertise in Liver Diseases: Focused expertise ensures that patients receive care from specialists who are knowledgeable about liver cirrhosis and its complications, leading to more accurate diagnoses and effective treatment plans.
- Comprehensive Management: The department provides comprehensive care, including the management of underlying causes of cirrhosis (like hepatitis or alcohol abuse), treatment of complications, and monitoring for liver cancer.
- Personalized Treatment Plans: Treatment is tailored to each patient's specific condition, considering the stage of cirrhosis, underlying causes, and associated health issues.
- Management of Complications: Specialized in managing cirrhosis-related complications like ascites, variceal bleeding, hepatic encephalopathy, and spontaneous bacterial peritonitis.
- Liver Transplant Coordination: The department often plays a key role in evaluating patients for liver transplants and providing pre-and post-transplant care.
- Access to Clinical Trials: Patients may have access to the latest treatments and clinical trials, offering opportunities to benefit from cutting-edge therapies.
- Emotional and Psychological Support: Recognizing the impact of chronic illness on mental health, many departments provide or refer patients to counseling and support services.
Call 011-42888888 to book an appointment with a specialist at Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute.