Liver disease is a major health problem worldwide
Liver hardening (cirrhosis) and liver cancer cause more than 2 million deaths globally each year. In the past, common causes of liver disease are hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV) and excessive alcohol consumption. Less common causes are autoimmune hepatitis (AIH), primary biliary cholangitis (PBC), primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), Wilson’s disease, etc.
However, doctors worldwide are seeing an increase in cases of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which affects up to 40% of the population in many countries.
treatments are best guided by expert liver specialists
While many patients feel well and normal in the early stage of their liver disease, a significant percentage can develop liver hardening, liver cancer and liver failure.
Medications or procedures can very effectively help to control their liver disease and prolong life, but these treatments are best guided by expert liver specialists familiar with managing liver conditions.
In some patients, despite best medications or procedures, liver failure or liver cancer such as hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) may still develop. In this case, liver transplant may be the only hope for cure.
Many patients with early stage liver disease such as chronic hepatitis B/C or fatty liver do not feel sick, and only discover their liver problem accidentally during health screening. Without treatment, 30% to 40% of these patients will progress to liver hardening and liver failure.
Once liver failure occurs, patients may suffer from water retention (abdomen and/or leg swelling), jaundice (yellow skin and eyes), hepatic encephalopathy (confusion or coma), or variceal bleeding (vomiting of blood or passing of blood in stool). In patients with liver cirrhosis, there is a 6-7% yearly risk of developing liver cancer. Liver cancer is often painless in its early stages and many patients with early-stage liver cancer are unaware of the problem unless they undergo regular scans. Early-stage liver cancer can be cured if discovered quickly.
Mount Elizabeth Hospital
Our clinic is located at Mount Elizabeth Hospital (Orchard) within the famed Orchard Road shopping belt. For over 40 years, Mount Elizabeth Hospital (Orchard) has been the leading medical hub in Asia Pacific providing cutting edge medical services to patients in Singapore as well as those from all around the region.