What is Cirrhosis of the Liver?
Cirrhosis of the liver is most commonly described as the scarring of liver tissue. In response to damage to the organ – resulting from liver disease, alcoholism or another cause – scar tissue can begin to replace healthy liver tissue that is essential for performing some of the body’s most vital tasks. A properly functioning liver produces bile to digest food, creates blood proteins and rids the body of toxins in the bloodstream, in addition to performing other important processes. When scar tissue replaces the normal liver tissue, it reduces the liver’s effectiveness in performing these tasks. Advanced cirrhosis can cut down on the production of nutrients and the filtering of the blood so much that a transplant may be needed.
Whether you are in the beginning stages of your cirrhosis treatment journey or you are a candidate for liver transplantation, you can find the highly specialized care you need and deserve at Tampa General Hospital’s Liver Disease and Hepatology Program. From diagnostics through recovery, our patients benefit from the unrivaled expertise of our specialists, who have a unique level of experience addressing even the most challenging and rare cases of liver disease. Take the first step toward consulting a TGH specialist by using our Physician Finder, or contact TGH’s Liver Disease and Hepatology Program at 1-800-505-7769 to learn more about our cirrhosis treatment services.
What are the Symptoms of Liver Cirrhosis?
Some of the symptoms that can result from cirrhosis include:
- Fatigue and weakness
- Loss of appetite
- Losing weight without trying
- Yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes
- Swelling, especially in the legs
- Hepatic encephalopathy (a condition affecting the brain, causing confusion, drowsiness and slowed speech)
How is Liver Cirrhosis Treated?
If you or someone you know have cirrhosis, recommended treatments will likely address the underlying causes of the liver damage. If the damage is due to a condition like hepatitis, it can be controlled through medications. Other underlying causes, such as alcohol dependency and fatty liver disease, can be controlled through lifestyle changes like refraining from drinking alcohol, losing weight and controlling sugar intake. Cirrhosis damage, while irreversible, can be managed in most circumstances, but a liver transplant is required in some cases.
TGH’s Liver Disease and Hepatology Program works hand in hand with TGH’s Transplant Institute, which has some of the shortest organ transplant wait times in the country and leverages advanced treatment technologies to achieve world-class outcomes for patients. A professional referral is not required to visit TGH – you can start the process yourself. Contact us today at 1-800-505-7769 to learn more about how we treat cirrhosis.