How We Can Help
Liver Failure Care Treatment Information
We offer advanced, comprehensive treatment options for liver failure to meet your needs, including:
- Transcutaneous intrahepatic portosystemic shunting (TIPS procedure). Advanced cirrhosis, or scarring of the liver, blocks some of the blood flowing through your liver. This blockage leads to increased blood pressure around the liver and other blood vessels in the digestive system. Over time, this increased pressure weakens veins, putting you at risk for life-threatening bleeding. To decrease pressure on this vein, a shunt is placed in the veins of your liver, creating an artificial pathway for blood. To place the shunt, your physician makes an incision in your jugular vein. Using X-ray technology, the shunt is guided through the vein down into your liver where it is placed. The procedure is minimally invasive, reducing your risk for bleeding, pain and infection.
- Intracranial pressure monitoring. Decreased liver function allows toxins that usually would be filtered out by the liver to enter your brain. These toxins, specifically ammonia, increase pressure around your brain, causing unconsciousness and, possibly, a coma or death. Monitoring the pressure in your brain is vital to preventing these symptoms. Some medicines lower the amount of ammonia produced by your digestive tract and improve intracranial pressure. Intracranial pressure monitoring through a catheter also allows physicians to drain some fluid from around your brain, reducing pressure quickly. To monitor your intracranial pressure, we place a catheter—a small tube—through your skull and into a vein in your brain. The catheter is the most accurate way of monitoring the pressure in your brain while allowing us to quickly relieve pressure.
- Pre-transplant care. Liver transplant is the only treatment for advanced liver failure. IU Health has one of the largest and busiest transplant programs in the United States. We provide high-quality transplant care with short waiting times for organs at an average of six months or less. Our Critical Care physicians collaborate closely with your transplant team while you await transplant. We manage your care within Critical Care by monitoring your condition and keeping you stable enough to undergo transplant surgery.
- Post-transplant care. After your transplant, you return to Critical Care. You receive immunosuppressants, which are medicines that prevent your body’s immune system from attacking your new organ. We use around-the-clock care to ensure your body accepts your new liver, and it functions well.
Liver Failure Care Locations & Physicians
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Liver Failure Care Support Services
Learn about liver failure and how it is treated by visiting the websites below.
A Sampling of Liver Failure Care Support Services
IU Health Transplant
Find out more about our transplant program and how we support you both before and after your transplant.
American Liver Foundation
The American Liver Foundation website shares information on the progression of liver diseases, educational handouts and support services such as finding a liver disease support group.