Medicine is the branch of health science and the sector of public life concerned with maintaining or restoring humanhealth through the study, diagnosis and treatment of disease and injury. It is both an area of knowledge — a science of bodysystems, their diseases and treatment — and the applied practice — an art or craft — of that knowledge. However, medicine often refers more specifically to matters dealt with by physicians and surgeons.
Cirrhosis is a consequence of chronic liverdisease characterized by replacement of liver tissue by fibrotic scar tissue as well as regenerative nodules, leading to progressive loss of liver function. Cirrhosis is most commonly caused by alcoholism and hepatitis C, but has many other possible causes.
Ascites (fluid retention in the abdominal cavity) is the most common complication of cirrhosis and is associated with a poor quality of life, increased risk of infection, and a poor long-term outcome. Other potentially life-threatening complications are hepatic encephalopathy (confusion and coma) and bleeding from esophageal varices. Cirrhosis is generally irreversible once it occurs, and treatment generally focuses on preventing progression and complications. In advanced stages of cirrhosis the only option is a liver transplant.