Cirrhosis is a potentially disabling disease characterised by severe damage to the liver, an organ that performs many vital functions including filtering and processing blood as it circulates through the body. Because of its function, the liver is exposed to every chemical that enters the body, which could eventually damage the organ. Over time, this damage can turn cells into scar tissue leading to the development of cirrhosis. In many cases, the cause of cirrhosis is heavy drinking; in others, however, the causes are chronic hepatitis B and C infections, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (a condition in which the is liver inflamed and contains extra fat), or an overactive immune system. Patients with nonalcoholic cirrhosis suffer from troubling symptoms including erectile dysfunction (among men), jaundice, and internal bleeding, among others.
Patients with non-alcoholic cirrhosis require long-term management that aims to slow down the progression of the disease. Liver transplant becomes an option when the damage to the liver is severe or if the organ has shut down completely. As a technically demanding procedure that requires cutting-edge surgical technology, liver transplant is understandably not available in many parts of the world. For this reason, patients with non-alcoholic cirrhosis consider travelling to other countries that offer advanced liver care.
There are many medical tourism destinations worldwide but the most sought after include Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia – three Southeast Asian countries known for offering the winning combination of high-quality healthcare and affordable cost. These countries have a long list of internationally trained hepatologists and liver surgeons who offer comprehensive management of both common and complex liver conditions. They use the most advanced knowledge in their field of expertise and state-of-the-art diagnostic and surgical technologies to ensure that patients achieve the best possible treatment results.
Although the quality of healthcare in Southeast Asia is at par with what is offered in Western countries, the costs of comprehensive liver care in the region are significantly lower with patients enjoying up to 75% cost savings.