UH Experts Offer Advanced Care for Liver Failure
A diagnosis of liver failure, also known as end-stage liver disease, is very serious. It means your liver is shutting down or has shut down. A failing liver is unable to carry out its many life-sustaining functions, including filtering toxins out of the blood, producing chemicals to aid in digestion and making proteins that are essential for blood clotting.
Call to Schedule an Appointment TodayTo schedule an in-person or virtual consultation with a UH liver specialist, call 216-844-8500, Option #1 or schedule online.
Liver failure can be either acute or chronic.
Chronic liver failure is the most common type – the disease progresses slowly over months and years and often occurs along with late-stage cirrhosis of the liver, which can be caused by a variety of factors.
Acute liver failure is quite rare and occurs relatively suddenly over a period of weeks or even days – often in people who have not had previous liver problems. It can be triggered by viral hepatitis A or B, autoimmune hepatitis, toxic effects of either prescribed or over the counter medications, herbal products, and dietary supplements or other liver diseases such as Wilson’s disease. Acute liver failure is a medical emergency that will require admission to a hospital and often the intensive care unit for monitoring and treatment.
Early liver failure may not have any symptoms, but as the disease progress, symptoms may include:
- Ascites (fluid buildup in the belly)
- Mental confusion
- Severe fatigue
- Swelling of the arms or legs
- Tendency to bleed easily
- Yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice)
Multidisciplinary Teams at UH Diagnose and Treat Liver Failure
When liver failure is suspected, our expert hepatologists and transplant surgeons work together to determine the cause and the best treatment approach. In both acute and chronic liver failure, the liver may be too sick to repair itself and a liver transplant may be the only treatment option.
Liver failure is always a very serious condition. We want to be able to collaborate with our referring providers and our patients to help facilitate a timely evaluation with our transplant team. Evaluation can take place in the hospital or at our clinic locations.