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Treatment of cirrhosis focuses on stopping or delaying the damage to your liver and preventing complications, such as liver failure. When the cause of the condition is known, therapy will aim to specifically manage that illness. For instance, if a patient has hepatitis, the doctor may administer steroids or antiviral drugs for treatment.

Regardless of the cause of cirrhosis, it is essential that every patient avoid all substances, habits and drugs that may further damage the liver or cause complications or liver failure. Alcohol, in addition to causing cirrhosis, may accelerate the progression of liver scarring. All patients with liver disease should not drink any alcohol. Medications also may be given to control the symptoms of cirrhosis.

If complications progress to the point of possible liver failure, a liver transplant may be recommended. Our team of digestive disorder experts work closely with liver transplant specialists at UCSF Medical Center, who can provide excellent care. Liver failure may occur at the end stage of liver disease when the liver stops working and cannot support life. Liver failure is difficult to treat and survival is limited. However, the good news is that many people with cirrhosis have undergone successful liver transplants. Also, many patients live long and healthy lives with other means of therapy.

Reviewed by health care specialists at UCSF Medical Center.

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UCSF Clinics & Centers


Gastroenterology at Mount Zion
1701 Divisadero St., Suite 120
San Francisco, CA 94115
Phone: (415) 502-4444
Fax: (415) 502-2249
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Gastroenterology at Parnassus
350 Parnassus Ave., Suite 410
San Francisco, CA 94143
Phone: (415) 502-2112
Fax: (415) 514-3300
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Gastrointestinal Motility & Secretion Center
400 Parnassus Ave., Box 0310
San Francisco, CA 94143-0310
Phone: (415) 353-9383
Fax: (415) 353-2505
Appointment information