Dr Stephen Ryder
During the time the liver is being injured there are usually no symptoms, the process of building up scar tissue in the liver may take 2-4 decades during which people appear well. Once cirrhosis is present the liver is at risk of failing, sign of liver failure are fluid retention (leg swelling and a build up of fluid in the abdomen called ascites), jaundice, confusion due to a bulid up of waste products in the blood which are removed by a healthy liver and a risk of internal bleeding from what are essentially internal varicose veins in the oesophagus. These are late signs and usually indicate a poor outlook. Early diagnosis before the development of cirrhosis is essential to prevent these happening. We can now assess people for the presence and amount of scar tissue in their liver both by blood tests and by a special form of ultrasound scan (fibroscan).
Dr Rajaventhan Srirajaskanthan
Often liver disease can have no symptoms and is identified incidentally on blood tests. However, in some people it can cause fatigue or some pain in the abdomen. In more advanced cases people can develop swelling of their abdomen and also become jaundice.