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Liver Disease



This liver is an organ that is vital for digestion and removing toxins from the body. There are many diseases that can affect this organ, including cirrhosis – a chronic condition, hepatitis – inflammation/infection of the liver, obstruction of the bile duct, high blood pressure in the portal vein – which connects the liver to the intestines, and even cancer.

Medical advances in recent years have made many of the formerly untreatable liver diseases now treatable.


Each liver disease has its own symptoms, shown below.

Bile duct obstruction:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Dark urine
  • Fever
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and/or whites of eyes)
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Pale stool

Cancer of the liver:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Enlarged liver
  • Fatigue
  • Fluid accumulation in the abdomen
  • Jaundice
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Weight loss

Portal hypertension (causes liver damage, which leads to the following symptoms):

  • Black, loose stools
  • Bloody vomiting
  • Encephalopathy, a brain disease with dementia-like symptoms
  • Fluid accumulation in the abdomen

Risk Factors for Liver Disease

Most liver diseases are caused by one or more of the following:

  • Arsenic exposure
  • Blood clots
  • Chronic viral hepatitis
  • Cirrhosis – scars on liver usually caused by extreme alcohol intake
  • Congenital disorders
  • Inflammation/tumors on bile ducts or pancreas
  • Primary biliary cirrhosis
  • Trauma to the abdominal area

Treatment for Liver Disease

Because there are so many different forms of liver disease, the methods of treatment vary widely depending on what form of disease the patient has. These include:

  • Blood pressure medications delivered intravenously
  • Chemotherapy and/or radiation
  • Draining of the bile duct via catheter
  • Interventional cancer treatments such as the injection of cancer-killing drugs into the liver via a catheter
  • Liver transplant
  • Stenting
Conditions & Treatments



Vascular Institute of New York
960 50th Street
Borough Park

Brooklyn, NY 11219
Phone: 718-438-3800
Fax: 718-438-3131

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