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Liver Failure & Disease

What Is Liver Failure & Disease?

Liver failure is near or complete loss of liver function. It is life-threatening since you cannot live without a liver (the organ in your right upper abdomen responsible for processing nutrients, making blood proteins and breaking down toxins).

Liver failure can occur gradually (called chronic liver failure) or suddenly (called acute liver failure).

Chronic Liver Failure

Chronic liver failure progresses over a period of months or years. Conditions that can lead to chronic liver failure include:

  • Cirrhosis caused by chronic liver disease (an array of conditions that damage the liver and impair its function)

  • Severe malnutrition

Acute Liver Failure

Acute liver failure happens within a few days or weeks and is most commonly caused by:

  • Acetaminophen overdose

  • Prescription medicine side effect

  • Poisoning

When to Seek a Specialist

Since liver failure is life-threatening, immediate medical treatment is necessary. If your primary care doctor suspects liver failure, ask him or her for a referral to the Liver Transplantation Program.

Seek emergency medical care if you are experiencing any of the following severe symptoms of liver failure:

  • Confusion
  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Unconsciousness

View all symptoms of liver failure.

A Leader in Liver Failure Treatment

Temple is a major referral center for cirrhosis and home to doctors with experience in drug-induced liver injury, making it a leading destination for liver failure treatment.

  • Our doctors have decades of combined experience in caring for patients with chronic and acute liver failure.
  • Our transplant team is committed to providing advanced health care in a compassionate manner.

The Temple Liver Transplantation Program provides special medical and surgical treatments for patients with liver disease and liver failure. The program's multidisciplinary team of doctors works together to deliver the newest, most appropriate therapies to patients with serious, complicated forms of liver disease.

Ready for an Appointment?

If you're experiencing signs or symptoms of liver failure and disease, schedule an appointment or call 800-TEMPLE-MED (800-836-7536) today.

Learn more about our doctors and care team who diagnose and treat liver failure and disease.