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davidtrump

​​​​​​​Treatments for Cirrhosis Complications

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Treatments for Cirrhosis Complications

Cirrhosis damage can prevent your liver from doing important jobs like removing toxins from your body and helping you digest foods. It can lead to problems like these:

Portal hypertension. Scars in the liver block blood flow through the portal vein. This is the main blood vessel to the liver. This backup of blood increases pressure in the portal vein, as well as in the system of veins that connect to it. Increased blood pressure makes these vessels swell up. High blood pressure drugs called beta-blockers lower pressure in the portal vein and other blood vessels so they don't swell to the point of breaking.

Varices. These are swollen blood vessels caused by blocked blood flow. They’re usually found in the esophagus and stomach. They can stretch so much that they eventually break open and bleed. Your doctor can tie a special rubber band around the varices to stop the bleeding. This procedure is called band ligation. A surgery called TIPS is sometimes needed to “shunt” -- meaning redirect -- the blood flow.

Fluid buildup. Increased pressure in the portal vein and reduced liver function can cause fluid to build up in your belly. This is called ascites. Your doctor can prescribe medicines called diuretics to help your body get rid of the extra fluid. You might also need antibiotics to prevent bacteria from growing in it and causing an infection. Your doctor can do a procedure to remove fluid from your belly or relieve pressure in your portal vein.

Liver cancer. Cirrhosis increases your risk for liver cancer. You'll get blood tests or an ultrasound every 6 to 12 months to look for cancer. If you do get liver cancer, the main treatments are surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy.

Hepatic encephalopathy. A heavily scarred liver can't remove toxins from your body. These toxins can build up in your blood and damage your brain, leading to memory loss and trouble thinking. To prevent this complication, your doctor will give you medicines to lower the amount of toxins in your blood.

 

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