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End stage liver disease questions...

37 yo male, diagnosed with End Stage Liver Disease. Cirrhosis and hepatic cellular  disease secondary to the cirrhosis. My labs according to my Dr are usually close to perfect, yet my ammonia level does fluctuate up and down. I am on Lactolose (sp?) I was a heavy drinker, and went in to renal and hepatic shut down. I was told that  my liver looked like someone rubbed it with glass sand paper. I quit drinking over 500 days ago, but what worries me is that in most cases of cirrhosis the liver shrinks, but mine is swollen causing me severe upper right quadrant pain. I am on a Fent patch and dilaudid as needed. I do not have hepatitis yet all the Dr's think I do cause the liver is so big, however I do not have hepatitis according to the blood results. With that all said, my GI dr wants me to look into getting a liver transplant, but I am more worried that the transplant will kill me faster then treating my liver nicely at this point, no more drinking, and try to eat a healthy diet, though thats been hard for me to do. I read somewhere that the average persons prognosis with severe cirrhosis has about 5 years of life left unless I get the transplant. Does that sound right? If so does that really mean I only have about 2 years left before full failure? If the liver can regen itself, rather then a transplant couldnt they go in and cut away the severely parts of the liver and allow it to regen on its own? Any and all thoughts welcome as I dont know anything more then what I typed here? Oh and 2.5 years ago when I was at my worst I had become severely jandice,  could not eat and my ammonia levels were WAY WAY over 100, I think 179 was the highest. Thanks in advance again for any thoughts. Oh yeah and I had my gall bladder removed do to heavy sludge in it.
3 Responses
1391441 tn?1333847961
I have Hep C and cirrhosis of the liver. I am on the liver transplant list but it may be a while before they do that. As to your questions - Once your liver is scared it will not regenerate. You indicate a fear of the transplant but you can't "treat your liver nicely" and expect it to make a difference in the damage that has already been done. You can not drink! If that is a problem for you then you need to get help for that before you even think about a transplant.
I too suffer from elevated ammonia levels. That will give you a brain fog and make it difficult to make rational decisions sometimes. Fortunately my wife is a great support for me. I no longer drive because the ammonia affects my ability to think clearly. There have been cases of people with high ammonia levels who drive off and don't know where they are.
Don't rely on a family doctor but find a cirrhosis clinic with doctors who can help you make the decisions you are struggling with.
This is very serious but not too late to do something about it.
Take care and God bless,
163305 tn?1333668571
They cannot just cut away the bad part of the liver because cirrhosis scars the entire liver. Think of marbled fat in meat. Its everywhere.

Nobody has a magic ball to predict how long anyone will live.
You need a very good hepatologist, liver doctor with transplant experience to guide you.

Good luck.
Avatar universal
I, too, had a liver transplant.  I feel like a new man.  Though I'm in my 70's, I anticipate living a lot longer.  I probably served myself well by always being a trim person - usually about 150-160 pounds and active.  My biggest problem following the transplant is itching, but I'm going to check with my hepatologist about ERCP - an endoscopy that checks the duct to the pancreas.  Best wishes!
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