Forum: The Gastroenterology and Liver Diseases Forum
Six weeks ago my sister had surgery to remove two hemangiomas on the liver. One very small and one the size of a baseball per her surgeon. During the surgery and the next 6 hours she received a total of 12 units of blood and during the course of her recovery developed pneumonia, had an allergic reaction to antibiotics, blood and fluid developed under the lung area an had to be draiined. She is finally on her way to recovery. She is an admitted alcoholic, quit for some time but started drinking again before the surgery. With all she went through I thought after the surgery she would stop, but she hasn't. What effects will alcohol abuse have on her recovery, and would it have any long term effects on her liver. I know what alcohol does to the liver, but what are the concerns with her medical history. I want to be able to give her (and her drinking friends) medical facts so maybe they will understand. I can't seem to get it through their heads. Thanks.
Cirrhosis of the liver is one of the more serious complications secondary to chronic alcohol abuse. It may lead to complications such as increasing abdominal girth secondary to fluid build up in the abdomen (called ascites), bleeding from swollen veins in the gastrointestinal tract (called varices), infection of the fluid in the abdomen (called spontaneous bacterial peritonitis), mental confusion (called hepatic encephalopathy) and increased risk for the development of liver cancer (called hepatocellular carcinoma). If patients with alcoholic cirrhosis abstain from all alcohol they have an improved survival compared to patients who continue to abuse alcohol. It is also well known that patients with alcoholic cirrhosis do not tolerate general anesthesia as well as others and have a higher risk of complications after surgery. There is no data that supports a relationship between alcohol abuse, alcoholic cirrhosis and the development of hemangiomas of the liver. I hope you find this information helpful.
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