Medicine an Surgery notes

Apr 24th, 2015
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Cirrhosis OverviewCirrhosis is a chronic (ongoing, long-term) disease of the liver. It means damage to the normal liver tissue that keeps this important organ from working as it should. If the damage is not stopped, the liver gradually loses its ability to carry out its normal functions. This is called liver failure, sometimes referred to as end-stage liver disease. The liver is the largest organ in the body and one of the most essential. It is about the size a football and is located on the right side in front, just below the lower rib cage. It produces substances that help fight infections and clot blood, filters toxins and infectious agents out of the blood, helps in the absorption of certain nutrients from foods, and stores energy for later use. These are just some of its many functions in the body.The liver may be injured by a single event, as in acute (new, short-term) hepatitis; by regular injury over months or years, as in biliary tract blockage or chronic hepatitis; or by continuous injury, as in daily alcohol abuse. The liver responds to cell damage by producing strands of scar tissue that surround islands (nodules) of healing cells, making the liver knobby. At first, the inflammation in the liver causes it to swell. As the disease progresses and the amount of scar tissue in the liver increases, the liver will actually shrink. The scar tissue presses on the many blood vessels in the liver. This interrupts flow of blood to liver cells, which then die. Los

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