Cirrhosis is scarring of the liver caused by many forms of liver diseases and conditions, such as hepatitis and chronic alcohol abuse. The liver carries out several essential functions, including detoxifying harmful substances in your body, cleaning your blood and making vital nutrients.

Cirrhosis occurs in response to damage to your liver over many years. The liver damage done by cirrhosis can't be undone. But if liver cirrhosis is diagnosed early and the cause treated, further damage can be limited. As cirrhosis progresses, more and more scar tissue forms, making it difficult for the liver to function. Advanced cirrhosis can be life-threatening.

Jan. 30, 2013