British Liver Trust
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Puzzled: have been told I have cirrhosis which was picked up by chance from a CT scan for another condition. All my blood tests are normal and my liver "is doing all it is supposed to do". A gastroscope examination reveals no portal hypertension or varices and stomach and duodenal normal.I do have ankle and leg oedema and red palms. I am 83 years old. The consultant has said he doesn't want to see me for another year, so I am at a loss to know how serious my liver condition is. Any comments, please?

3 Replies

if you are 83, and everything is in range. i think you will more likely pass naturally, before it could affect you. but living to 83 is an accomplishment on its own. to be safe, ask for a fibro-sure blood test.


Whet Jeff said. To put things into perspective I was diagnosed liver cirrhosis at 27 because of deranged blood tests, and I suspect I'd had cirrhosis long before that (I believe late teens). I remained stable and didn't need transplant until 42. 15 years minimum without any treatment other than blood pressure tablets. At 83 even if you did need transplant I'm afraid you'd be too old to have the op.

Best advice I would give is to put it out of your mind unless you start getting any symptoms.

All the best..

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Hello again, we chatted last time you posted.

Ok you've got cirrhosis but it is compensated and doing everything it needs to so that's brilliant, an all clear for portal hypertension and varices is also great news as this is where most of the serious symptoms of cirrhosis would cause issues and risks.

At 83 years old with asymptomatic cirrhosis you are doing ok & you should live out the rest of your natural - I think it's positive and testament to your overall health that doctor is saying he won't see you again for another year.

I am sure you can live with red palms - oedema in older persons is fairly normal and not limited to those with liver disease.

Some tips on how to manage oedema are:-

- Put your legs on pillows to raise them above your heart while lying down.

- Exercise your legs. This helps pump fluid from your legs back to your heart.

- Follow a low-salt diet, which may reduce fluid buildup and swelling.

- Wear support stockings - your GP practice or District Nurse might be able to source these for you.

- When traveling, take breaks often to stand up and move around.

- Avoid wearing tight clothing around your thighs.

- Lose weight if you need to.

Best wishes to you, Katie x

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