What Is the Average Life Expectancy for a Patient With Liver Cirrhosis?

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A patient with liver cirrhosis will have a different average life expectancy depending on the stage of the disease as well as the individual patient history; there is not one single “average.” For a specific life expectancy, patients should speak with their attending physician, notes WebMD.

In the initial stages of cirrhosis, patients may not experience symptoms and their average life expectancy may not be dramatically affected. However, once the disease has spread to the liver and impaired liver function, there is typically a steep reduction in life expectancy, reports the MUSC Digestive Disease Center.

Cirrhosis is a disease that involves the buildup of scarring tissue in the liver and interferes with the body’s ability to move nutrients. There are many causes of liver cirrhosis. including fatty liver from diabetes, fatty liver from obesity, viral infections such as hepatitis, intestine blockages, heart failure and genetic diseases (cystic fibrosis and hemochromatosis), reports WebMD. Environmental toxins can also lead to liver cirrhosis in some cases. Another possibility is liver damage due to alcoholism. Regardless of the stage at which the cirrhosis is found (though it is often found in later stages), it is always important to undergo treatment. Cirrhosis treatment will typically always extend the life expectancy of the patient and heal parts of the liver.