ZocdocAnswersI have had liver cirrhosis for 6 years now, was told I needed a transplant, never did find a match. How can I gain better control?

Question

I have had liver cirrhosis for 6 years now, was told I needed a transplant, never did find a match. How can I gain better control?

I am on diuretics for ascites and low sodium diet but still need to get drained, 10 to 12 liters, every 5 to 6 weeks. Any suggestion to gain better control.

Answer

From your short description, it sounds like you have very significant cirrhosis of the liver and I recommend that you be followed by a hepatologist. While I cannot stage the degree of your cirrhosis with the information you have provided, the fact that you are requiring frequent paracentesis to drain your ascites means that your cirrhosis is most likely severe and advanced. Unfortunately, we have no treatments that can slow down cirrhosis other than to treat the underlying cause. For example, sometimes treatment of hepatitis C if present can be helpful. However in a patient such as yourself, this will likely not be considered because the degree of cirrhosis that you have is not reversible. Cessation of all alcohol consumption is also needed to help slow down of progression. In any event, the most important thing for you is to find a way to get on the transplant list. You need to stay on the transplant list and hope for a donor that comes along. The transplant list is usually ranked by severity and you will likely be ranked high now if not in the near future. Again, you must be followed by a hepatologist. This is a type of gastroenterologists that has done additional training in diseases of the liver. This type of specialist is needed for you to get a liver transplant. Good luck.

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