Contact Us | Patient Portal | Search:
Printer Friendly VersionEmail A FriendAdd ThisIncrease Text SizeDecrease Text Size

Cirrhosis - discharge

 

Alternate Names

Liver failure - discharge; Liver cirrhosis - discharge

When You Were in the Hospital

You have cirrhosis of the liver. Your liver is damaged and has become shrunken, firm, and scarred. This happened little by little over many years. Most times, this damage cannot be undone.

While you were in the hospital, you may have had:

  • Lab tests, x-rays, and other imaging exams
  • A sample of liver tissue taken (biopsy)
  • Treatment with drugs
  • Fluid drained from your belly
  • Tiny rubber bands tied around blood vessels in your esophagus (the tube that carries food from your mouth to your stomach)
  • Placement of a transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS)
  • Antibiotics to treat an infection in your belly.
What to Expect at Home

Your doctor will talk with you about what to expect at home. This will depend on your symptoms and what caused your cirrhosis.

Medicines your doctor may prescribe are

  • Lactulose, neomycin, or rifaximin for confusion caused by liver problems
  • Propanolol (Inderal) or isosorbide, to help prevent bleeding from your esophagus
  • Diuretics (water pills), for extra fluid in your body
  • Antibiotics, for infection in your belly
Self-care

Do not drink any alcohol. Your doctor can help you stop.

Limit salt in your diet.

  • Ask your doctor which foods you should avoid. See also: Low-salt diet
  • Learn to read labels on cans and packaged foods to avoid salt. See also: How to read food labels
  • Don't add salt to your foods when you cook. Do not sprinkle salt on your food. Use herbs or spices to add flavor to your foods.

Ask your doctor before taking any other medicines, vitamins, herbs, or supplements that you buy at the store. This includes acetaminophen (Tylenol), cold medicines, aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), and others.

Ask your doctor if you need shots (immunizations) for hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and the flu.

You will need to see your doctor for regular follow-up visits. Keep these appointments so your doctor can check your condition.

Other tips for caring for your liver are:

  • Eat a healthy diet and keep your weight at a healthy level.
  • Try to avoid constipation.
  • Get enough exercise and rest.
  • Try to reduce your stress.
When to Call the Doctor

Call your doctor or nurse if you have:

  • Fever above 100.5 °F, or a fever that does not go away
  • Belly pain
  • Blood in your stool or black, tarry stools
  • Blood in your vomit
  • Bruising or bleeding more easily
  • A buildup of fluid in your belly
  • Swollen legs or ankles
  • Breathing problems
  • Confusion or problems staying awake
  • Yellow color to your skin and the whites of your eyes (jaundice)
References

Heidelbaugh JJ, Sherbondy M. Cirrhosis and Chronic Liver Failure: Part II. Complications and Treatment. American Family Physician. Sept 2006;74(5).


Review Date: 3/17/2009
Reviewed By: George F Longstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program San Diego, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org). URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial process and privacy policy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics and subscribes to the principles of the Health on the Net Foundation (www.hon.ch).
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2009 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
MAIMONIDES
MEDICAL CENTER


Home Page
Why Choose Us
Donations
Website Terms of Use
PATIENT
INFORMATION


Visitor & Patient Info
Patient Portal
We Speak Your Language
Patient Privacy
Contact Us
KEY
INFORMATION


Find a Physician
Medical Services
Maimonides In the News
Directions & Parking
FOR HEALTH
PROFESSIONALS


Medical Education
Career Opportunities
Nurses & Physicians
Staff Intranet Access
Maimonides Medical Center    |    4802 Tenth Avenue    |    Brooklyn, NY 11219    |    718.283.6000    |