Liver failure

Liver failure is the final stages of many liver diseases and is life-threatening. Most often liver failure happens gradually and over many years. This is called chronic liver failure. At this point, most of the liver is damaged beyond repair and does not work anymore. Acute liver failure, when the liver stops working within days or weeks, is rare but it can happen to people who have not had any liver problems or disease. 


The symptoms of liver failure include nausea, loss of appetite, fatigue, diarrhea and yellowing of the skins or eyes. Liver failure may also cause fluid to build up in the legs and the abdomen, easy bruising in the skin, enlarged veins in the esophagus and the stomach and confusion. 


Liver failure is best treated when detected early. For patients with chronic liver disease, the first treatment is to save the parts of the liver that are functioning. A liver transplant is the treatment for advanced or end-stage liver disease. 
Our multidisciplinary team is dedicated to diagnosing and treating complex liver disease, such as cirrhosis, liver failure, and liver cancer. We coordinate your care with specialists from interventional radiology, medical oncology, radiation oncology, hepatobiliary surgery and transplant surgery to deliver a personalized care for your liver disease. If we feel that you need a liver transplant, we will use the expedited referral system to refer you to in-state and out-of-state transplant programs.

Programs + Services


Tufts Center for Liver Disease specializes in treating liver disease, such as cirrhosis, fatty liver, viral hepatitis, primary biliary cirrhosis and primary sclerosing cholangitis.
More information about programs and services

Doctors + Care Team

Raffi Karagozian, MD

Raffi Karagozian, MD

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Title(s): Hepatologist; Program Director, Gastroenterology Fellowship Program; Assistant Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Medicine, Gastroenterology
Appt. Phone: 617-636-5883
Fax #: 617-636-4505

Abnormal liver tests, cirrhosis, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, Hepatitis B/C, liver transplant, primary biliary cholangitis, primary sclerosing cholangitis, benign liver lesions, liver cancer, hemochromatosis, and drug induced liver injury.

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