What is Cirrhosis?

Cirrhosis is the end-stage of chronic liver disease. It is characterized by severe scarring on the liver. Hepatitis C, fatty liver disease and alcohol use are the most common causes of cirrhosis.

Scarring prevents normal blood flow through the liver and excretion of biles into the intestine. Patients often develop yellowing of the skin or eyes. Fluid may accumulate in the abdominal cavity and lower extremities. Blood toxins in the brain may cause confusion, a condition known as hepatic encephalopathy. Enlarged veins may develop in the esophagus and stomach known as varices. These can rupture and produce severe gastrointestinal bleeding.

Can Cirrhosis be Treated?
Typically, liver damage from cirrhosis cannot be reversed. An underlying form of chronic liver disease should be identified, as specific therapy may be available to prevent further deterioration of the liver. Specific treatment for symptoms such as encephalopathy, ascites and gastrointestinal bleeding are available. Please refer to these specific gastrointestinal conditions for further information.

Interested in Learning More?
As Lancaster’s leading gastrointestinal specialty practice, Regional Gi provides caring, highly skilled and uniquely accessible support. We are proud to offer same or next day appointments for urgent situations. For additional information or to contact a member of our professional health care team, please contact us. We look forward to serving you.