Considered as one of the most prominent Surgical Gastroenterologist, Dr. Prasanna Kumar Reddy is experienced for more than 47 years. He is currently delivering his services as a Senior Consultant in Apollo Hospital, Chennai. His specialties include treatment of Gastritis, Laser Piles, Hepato-Biliary-Pancreatic Surgery, and Stapled hemorrhoidectomy. He established a GI Unit and an Advanced Laparoscopic Unit in Apollo Hospital, Chennai on completion of his 25 years of service. His education qualification includes MBBS from Rangaraya Medical College, Diploma in Laparoscopy from Madras University, and FRCS from RCSE, U.K. Several publications in National and International publications are under his credit. Dr. Prasanna Kumar Reddy has expertise in the treatment of Liver Cirrhosis.
What is Liver Cirrhosis?
The liver located at the upper side of the abdomen below the ribs performs many essential functions. It produces bile juice that helps indigestion. Liver stores sugar and vitamins that are later consumed by our body. It removes toxins such as bacteria and alcohol from our system and also helps in purifying blood. Liver Cirrhosis is a disorder that badly affects its functionality.
A late stage of scarring of the liver due to certain diseases like hepatitis or chronic alcoholism is termed Liver Cirrhosis. Long-term consumption of toxins or viral infections leads to the formation of scars. Every time our liver is damaged, it tries to repair itself. This leads to the formation of scar tissues. Cirrhosis at an advanced level is life-threatening. Timely diagnosed cirrhosis can be treated to stop further damage which is rarely reversed.
Causes of Cirrhosis
The liver can be damaged due to many reasons:
- Chronic alcohol usage
- Viral hepatitis
- Cystic fibrosis
- Fat accumulation in the liver
- Excessive Iron builds up in the body
- Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency
- Poorly formed bile ducts
- Hardening and scarring of the bile ducts
- Copper accumulated in the liver
- Inherited disorders of sugar metabolism
- Genetic digestive disorder
- Destruction of the bile ducts
- Infection, such as syphilis or brucellosis
- Medications, including methotrexate or isoniazid
Symptoms of Cirrhosis
Until the liver is damaged extensively the signs and symbols are hard to detect. But they do occur and include:
- Loss of appetite
- Easily bleeding or bruising
- Swelling in your legs, feet, or ankles
- Weight loss
- Itchy skin
- Yellow discoloration in the skin and eyes
- Spiderlike blood vessels on your skin
- Redness in the palms of the hands
- Fluid accumulation in your abdomen
Diagnosis and Treatment
Cirrhosis is first detected by a blood test or a normal check-up. Confirmation requires few laboratory and imaging tests. Your blood tests usually include checking excess bilirubin, enzymes that indicate liver damage, hepatitis virus, and blood’s ability to clot. Imaging may include MRE, MRI, CT Scan, and ultrasound. A biopsy may be required to check the severity of liver damage.
Cirrhosis will be treated by your doctor by certain processes including:
- Excess fluid in the body – Your ascites and swelling will be controlled by a low-sodium diet and medication to prevent fluid build-up in the body. The extreme fluid build-up may require procedures to drain the fluid or surgery.
- Portal hypertension - Increased pressure in the veins that supply the liver and prevent severe bleeding may be controlled by certain blood pressure medications. An upper endoscopy at regular intervals will let your doctor know about enlarged veins in the esophagus or stomach (varices) that may bleed.
- Infections- You may receive antibiotics, vaccinations for influenza, pneumonia, and hepatitis, or other treatments for infections.
- Increased liver cancer risk - Periodic blood tests and ultrasound exams will be recommended to look for signs of liver cancer.
- Surgery - In advanced cirrhosis, when the liver ceases to function, a liver transplant may be the only treatment option left. In this procedure, a healthy liver from a deceased donor or with part of a liver from a living donor is required. Candidates for a liver transplant have to undergo extensive testing to determine whether they are healthy enough to have a good outcome of the surgery.
Alcohol and other toxins are harmful to your health. You won’t be able to know how silently these substances will make you, their victim. So, avoid taking these as soon as possible and take care of yourself.