PUBLIC GARDEN WALKERS’ ASSOCIATION hosted its 225th Monthly Health Lecture on Sunday at Indira Priyadarshani Auditorium, Public Garden, Nampally. Dr. Manish C. Varma, Consultant & Head of Liver Transplant and Hepatobiliary- Pancreatic Unit, Apollo Hospital, delivered the health lecture on “Hepatitis and Chronic Liver Disease: Prevention better than cure.’’ Members of Public Garden Walkers’ Association (PGWA) and general public attended in large numbers along with Mr Ghulam Yazdani, Chairman, PGWA; Dr. Purshottam Das, Gen. Secretary, PGWA; Mr Vishwanath Agarwal, Joint Secretary, PGWA; Mr Pramod Kumar Kedia, Vice President, PGWA and Mr B.L. Pershad Jaiswal, Treasurer, PGWA.
Speaking to the audience, Dr. Manish Varma said, Liver is a vital organ in the human body made of over 300 billion specialized cells. It performs complex functions which are essential to human life. The liver is a unique organ in the sense that it has a large reserve and has the capacity to regenerate and repair itself. However, in the face of ongoing injury, the liver may suffer damage which is irreversible and irreparable.
Liver injury manifests itself as hepatitis which can manifest as jaundice, fever, loss of appetite, swelling in the abdomen and legs, among other manifestations. The most common causes of hepatitis are Alcohol (alcoholic hepatitis), Viral infections (viral hepatitis), and obesity (Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis- NASH). Fortunately, all of these are preventable.
Once liver injury progresses beyond a certain extent, it results in a condition called liver cirrhosis, which is irreversible and, hence, called End Stage Liver Disease. Liver Cirrhosis is a progressive disease leading to a very poor quality of life, and cannot be managed with medicines beyond a certain stage. The only way to cure cirrhosis is by changing the diseased liver by Liver Transplantation which can be performed with success rates of more than 90-95%. Without liver transplantation, the outlook for patients with cirrhosis is very poor with almost no hope for long term survival.
The steps to prevent End stage liver disease are simple and requires life style modifications and vaccinations against hepatitis viruses. The medical community can contribute by following safe blood bank and hospital practices.
End Stage Liver Disease results in a very poor quality of Life and the cure requires major medical interventions. The measures required to prevent this are simple. Hence, it is important that we as a community realize that in the matters of the liver: Prevention is Better than Cure, and take the necessary steps in this direction.