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Viral Hepatitis

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How do you know if you have cirrhosis?

for Veterans and the Public

How do you know if you have cirrhosis?

Often, you cannot know whether you have cirrhosis until the disease is advanced. Only your health care provider can tell you if you have cirrhosis.

There are many signs of cirrhosis that your provider may find. You may have red palms or small spider-like veins on your face or your body. You may have developed fluid in your abdomen.

Your provider may do some blood tests that point to cirrhosis. Other tests can also give your provider a good idea of whether you have cirrhosis, such as an ultrasound, a CAT scan, an MRI, or a liver-spleen scan.

Sometimes, you may need a liver biopsy. A liver biopsy shows how much scarring your liver has and will help your health care provider figure out what is causing the damage and how best to treat it.