Follow-up for Cirrhosis
If you have a major complication without knowing that you have cirrhosis, you will have to stay in the hospital. You will undergo tests and be treated for the complication.
If you have liver disease but no major complications, the work-up may be done on an outpatient basis if the following criteria are met:
- You have no signs or symptoms of infection.
- Your blood still has the ability to form clots and stop bleeding on its own.
- You are able to hold down foods and liquids.
- Your follow-up appointment with your health care provider is within 2 days.
- In the time between your diagnosis and follow-up visit, you will be in the company of an adult who can recognize complications and seek help should you become confused and unable to care for yourself.
The best way to avoid cirrhosis is to avoid the underlying conditions that cause it.
- Know the risk factors for hepatitis B and hepatitis C and avoid them as much as possible.
- Avoid risky behaviors such as alcohol abuse, IV drug use, and unprotected sexual intercourse.
- Drink alcohol only in moderation, if at all.
- Develop healthy habits. Avoid using tobacco. Eat a healthy diet, get plenty of physical activity and rest, and maintain your weight in a healthy range.
- Talk to your health care provider before taking vitamin supplements. Large doses of vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin A, iron, or copper, can actually worsen liver damage.
- Hepatitis B immunizations are available to health care workers and others at high risk of contacting the disease. Immunization of all American children against hepatitis B, now required, will reduce the incidence of cirrhosis in the future.
- No effective hepatitis C vaccination is available.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/4/2016
Scott H Plantz, MD, FAAEM
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
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