Treatment Gastroenterology

Primary Biliary Cirrhosis
Treatments

The current treatment for PBC is a bile acid medication, called ursodeoxycholate. Although this medication does not cure the condition, it slows its progression. For advanced stage PBC, in which the liver is severely damaged, a liver transplant is the only option.

Liver Transplantation

Liver transplant is recommended for people whose primary biliary cirrhosis causes severe liver damage or progresses to liver failure. The evaluation for a transplant is complex and generally requires several months. Therefore, even patients who feel well should be referred for a transplant at the first sign of liver failure, or if they have advanced liver disease diagnosed by X-ray studies or liver biopsy.

UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.

Recommended reading

After Living Liver Donor Surgery

Learn what to expect following Living Liver Donor Surgery, including length of hospitalization, scarring, pain management, when you can eat and more.

Background on Living Liver Donors

Are you interested in becoming a liver donor? Learn how to qualify, about the process including, blood type, evaluation, and the chances of success.

Becoming a Living Donor

There are two types of organ transplants capable of using living donors: liver transplants and kidney transplants. Learn more about how to become a donor now.

Evaluation to be a Living Liver Donor

Find frequently asked questions regarding evaluation for becoming a living liver donor including, the purpose of the evaluation process and more.

FAQ: Getting a Liver Transplant

Find commonly asked questions regarding getting a liver transplant including, who gets priority, whether there's a way to expedite the process, and more.

Liver Transplant Glossary

Use this Liver Transplant Glossary to help you understand some of the esoteric language and terms including, Angiogram, Echocardiogram, Sclerotherapy, and more.

Living Donor Liver Transplant: The Facts

In the U.S., there are over 17,000 patients on the liver waiting list, but only enough donated livers to perform about 5,000 transplants per year. Learn more.

Seeking care at UCSF Health

Expand Map

    Share