I have end stage liver disease as well as kidney stones. Have the doctors calculated a Model for End stage Liver Disease for your father-in-law? They put your blood results for bilirubin, creatitine, and INR (your ability to clot blood) into it an equation that calculates how desperately you need a transplant. 40 means you are likely to die soon without transplant and the score ranges down to 6. Alot of transplant centers require your MELD score to be above 20 for consideration for an immediate transplant.
Increased ammonia levels in the blood is another complication of end stage liver disease. I could not tolerate the diarrhea that came with lactulose so my hepatologist has put me on Xifaxan.
Fluid can build up in the abdomen called ascites or in the legs and ankles. I take several diuretics for my cankles.
Ironically, even though I suffer with calcium oxalate stones my creatnine level is normal and keeping my MELD score around 14. I have giant cell hepatitis and cirrhossis, but the cause is unknown. Of course, I don't drink any alcohol. The hepatitis forum on Healing Well is a great source of information and support.