Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

Overview of Primary Biliary Cirrhosis

PBC i.e. Primary Biliary Cirrhosis refers to a progressive liver disease caused from bile buildup inside the liver and it results in damage to small bile ducts, while drain the fluid i.e. bile from liver. With the passage of time, pressure build-up causes destruction of bile ducts, which results in damage of liver cells. With the progress of primary biliary cirrhosis disease and enough death of liver cells, liver failure and cirrhosis take place.

Bile formation takes place in the liver and later on, it transports from bile ducts towards the gallbladder and intestinal areas, where it allows digestion of fat-soluble vitamins and fat components. However, when bile fails to drain out from one’s liver, it leads to inflammation and death of cells. Gradually, scar tissues replace damaged liver areas and later on, body fails to perform its normal essential functions.

Can Primary Biliary Cirrhosis be Cured?

Can Primary Biliary Cirrhosis be cured?

Primary biliary cirrhosis does not involve any cure; instead, doctors recommend for treatment options to bring improvements in the symptoms of the disease and to provide protection to the liver from causing any other damage.

UDCA or Ursodiol Drug Treatment

UDCA is the abbreviated form of ursodeoxycholic acid or ursodiol and it is a type of bile acid helpful in the movement of bile from the patients’ liver within the small intestine. It also helps in slowing the liver damage, particularly when the patient starts with its intake and the problem remains in the initial stage. You have to intake the drug for your lifetime. According to the analysis done by American Liver Foundation, ursodiol works well in only 50percent of total patients, while in others, liver damage or cirrhosis will continue.

Ocaliva Drug Treatment

Ocaliva or Obeticholic acid is an alternative drug approved by doctors for using on patients unable to tolerate UDCA or fail to respond it. The drug reduces the exact amount of bile in the patients’ liver by simply reducing its formation and helping in pushing out the bile from the liver of patients.

Treatment to Cure Symptoms

Doctors prescribe the necessary medicines for the treatment of following symptoms-

Recommends on Supplements

In case a patient suffers deficiency because of fat-soluble vitamins, doctors recommend intake of supplements to overcome it. Intake of vitamin D and calcium help in retaining overall strength of bones.

Immune-Suppressing Drugs

A few doctors prescribe primary biliary cirrhosis patients to intake immune-suppressing drugs to avoid their immune systems from attacking on liver. These drugs are methotrexate and colchicines.

Recommendations related to Lifestyle

Doctors recommend patients avoiding alcohol consumption, as it may cause further damage to the liver.

Liver Transplantation

Doctors recommend for liver transplantation surgical procedure when patients suffer liver failure or liver suffer excessive damage to perform its functions properly. According to this surgery, doctor replaces the liver of a patient with a healthy liver obtained from a donor.

Details on Liver Transplantation Procedure

Liver transplantation surgery takes place from minimum 6 hours to maximum 12 hours. During the surgical procedure, surgeons remove the liver and replace it with the liver obtained from a donor. Since the transplantation procedure categorizes as major surgical procedure, surgeons require placements of many tubes in the body. These tubes are essential to help the body of a patient and/or a donor to perform specific functions during the surgery and for a few numbers of days later.

Patients’ Condition after Liver Transplantation

We know that immune system of a person works to destroy any foreign substance invading the body. However, in this case, immune system fails to distinguish between the transplanted liver and any unwanted invader, like bacteria and viruses. In simple words, liver transplantation is only helpful in reducing symptoms, but even causes further side effects and complications.

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Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: July 31, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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