When is surgery indicated in the treatment of hemochromatosis?

Updated: Apr 03, 2017
  • Author: Andrea Duchini, MD; Chief Editor: Praveen K Roy, MD, AGAF  more...
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Answer

Surgical procedures are used to treat 2 important complications of hemochromatosis: end-stage liver disease and severe arthropathy. Orthotopic liver transplantation is the only therapeutic option when end-stage liver disease progresses despite iron-reduction therapy. [9] This intervention is also indicated in cases with the development of hepatocellular carcinoma.

Surgical arthroplasty is considered if joint destruction becomes severe despite medical therapy.

See Treatment and Medication for more detail.

What is hemochromatosis? Hemochromatosis is a genetic disorder where the body isn’t able to regulate its iron absorption. Iron levels in the body build up over time and damage the liver as well as other organs, through the generation of free radicals. Courtesy of Osmosis.org (https://www.osmosis.org/).

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