The liver, a vital organ located on the right side of the upper abdomen, is the largest and most complex solid organ in the body. When the liver does not function well many body systems are affected. The normal functions of the liver include:
Many diseases and toxins can cause injury to the liver. These diseases and toxins include infections caused by viruses (such as hepatitis B and C), fatty liver disease, and alcohol. In the long-term, any of these diseases and toxins can cause scar formation in the liver. This scar formation may eventually result in cirrhosis, which is the replacement of the normal liver with scar tissue.
Cirrhosis is a slowly progressive chronic process that may cause no symptoms in the early phase. However cirrhosis causes worsening complications as the disease progresses. These complications of cirrhosis include:
Patients with any of these complications of cirrhosis require extensive follow-up and monitoring to control their symptoms and prevent further complications. Our experienced team of liver physicians at the Memorial Hermann Transplant Center individualize transplant and non-transplant treatment plans for patients with advanced liver disease to minimize complications, maximize survival, and improve quality of life.