British Liver Trust
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Liver cirrhosis

I had a real bad time almost 2 years ago. I started to vomit blood due to variances had them banded but I just got more. I ended up in a induced coma of which I cannot remember from 10 days before I was put in a coma until I came round a TIPS procedure was carried out whilst in the coma.

It was liver cirrhosis that caused the varices as I was a heavy drinker for years. I survived and do not touch alcohol at all and I don't miss it at all. Rather than a addiction I think it was a lifestyle.

Although I now have diabetes, nerve damage to my feet and short term memory loss due to oxygen deficiency.

Since this illness I have regular scans which I was told my liver function had increased by 15% At no time has a liver transplant been mentioned does this mean my liver cirrhosis is not that servere? I cherish every day now as I should,my be here

9 Replies

Hi Jim, I guess (and it's only a guess) that since the root cause of your cirrhosis (alcohol) has been removed and that your liver is getting a chance to recover some of its function with the aid of the TIPS the need for a transplant in your case has reduced. People can go on and live fairly lengthy and relatively normal lives even with advanced cirrhosis - yours was/is obviously very severe as like my hubby yours led to portal hypertension and varices. In my hubby's case his varices have been successfully treated with repeated banding with over 42 now being banded since April 2012, he hasn't needed a TIPS but is listed for a transplant. In his case they can not remove the root cause of his cirrhosis i.e. auto-immune hepatitis which is unresponsive to steroid treatment and this will inevitably keep affecting his liver causing further damage. The only treatment option for his recovery now is a transplant. He's been listed since July 2014 and we've been told he is in for a long wait since his need is not at present that urgent ......... many more poorly people ahead of him on the list.

In your case they will inevitably keep a close eye on you with the regular checkups, blood tests and scans & you may be lucky and never need a transplant but they are keeping a good eye on you just in case.

Like you say keep living your life the best you can, you've done the best thing in staying off the booze and it will all stand in good stead in case they do ever feel a TP is needed.

Hubby and I make the best of our good days and fingers crossed when the need does really arise for his TP a donor will be found in adequate time to give him his life back.

All the best to you Jim.

From Katie :)


Hi Jim, your story sounds very like mine. For me, alcohol was a lifestyle choice and not an addiction - which I proved when I decided to just stop one day (even before I knew I was ill). I began vomiting blood too, and was critically ill when I was admitted to hospital in August.

I have an alcohol and salt free diet, have no more issues with the varices I have and lost the ascites completely - I'm pure muscle now and nobody would know I had ever been so close to death. My liver function is back to 100% with minimal scarring (not a common occurrance so I appreciate how lucky I am - but it does happen).

My advice would be to ask your specialist about anything you're unsure of - including the need (or not!) for a transplant. Really they ought to be keeping you in the loop anyway, but sometimes they need prodding!

All the best; please keep us all posted x


That's really good news you were very lucky! When you say you have minimal scarring on your liver now did you have much before? If so its nice to know it can reverse that quickly! Did you ever have a fibroscan? are you on any medication now?

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Your problem with your damage to your feet could be periferal neuropathy. This is what I am suffering with and is due to alcohol abuse. You need to be referred to a neurologist who can confirm this. Depending on what the damage is, it is possible that some relief could be achieved using medication and therapy.


Thanks for that. But I have been told that it is the diabetes that has caused it. But the medical profession sometimes get these things wrong


Hi Dooley; I meant to get back to you re: persistant cough but couldn't find the post! I was told it's nothing I'm taking and so it's very much asthma-related for me, but your case might be different. I'm only taking Spyronolactone and nobody's sure if I even need that any more!

I don't know how much scarring was present initially; I'm just glad that the damage wasn't anywhere near as bad as first suspected - they were pretty much suggesting I contact an undertaker when I was ill!


Thanks for reply, it's great you have minimal scarring considering your experience, the docs do scare you don't they. I had a fibroscan after my 'episode' and it was 60 which was worryingly high so it will be interesting to see if that has reduced by my next one in a few months. My ultrasound was much better which is quite promising. It must be a huge relief for you. Hoping mine is similar. Consultant tomorrow, we'll see what gems they come up with this time.



I don't know the answer to your question but I'm another alcoholic that was in a bad way 2 years ago. Major ascites, jaundice, etc. I was medically detoxed and haven't touched a drink for 22 months.

At first I was told things were bad. My liver was a mess. Last week I had an ultrasound and was told my liver looked great. My bloods are normal. I'm only taking vitamin b and insulin (diabetic).

So, hopefully your liver will carry on improving. Mine has and boy, am I grateful! I've not had a fibroscan yet though and I know my liver will never be normal again but it's coping for now and that'll do me!

Take care. X


Your problem is grave you may need liver transplant but avoiding alcohol may repel transplant and with grace of Almighty Allah you will live long.


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