Most people never stop to think of the pivotal role the liver plays in the overall quality of life until something goes wrong. The liver is a complex organ that performs a myriad of functions that are essential to life. It provides the body with energy, clears away toxins, combats infections, and much more.
Hepatology puts the spotlight on the structure, functions, and health of the liver.
Hepatology is the branch of medicine concerned with diagnosing and treating disorders that affect the liver, pancreas, gallbladder, and bile ducts.
The liver is a small reddish-brown organ situated in the upper right-hand section of the abdominal cavity, below the ribs. It is responsible for managing the nutrients digested from the food you eat and removing toxins from the body. The blood passes through the liver after leaving the stomach and intestines, as it is also the cleaning and processing center for the blood.
Liver diseases such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, fatty liver disease, and liver cancer are the conditions most frequently treated in hepatology.
Hepatitis – Inflammation of the liver. There are two main types of hepatitis, viral hepatitis, and non-infectious hepatitis. Viral hepatitis is caused by a viral infection. Hepatitis A, B, and C are the most common types.
Cirrhosis – Scarring of the liver that is generally the result of chronic alcohol use. Cirrhosis impairs normal liver function and can lead to liver failure.
Fatty Liver Disease – Excessive weight gain, especially in the abdominal region, can cause surplus fat to accumulate in the liver and other organs of the body. Too much fat in the liver can lead to scarring of the liver cells and damage the liver.
Liver Cancer – Cancer that affects the liver may be either primary or secondary. Primary liver cancer starts in the liver, whereas secondary liver cancer spreads to the liver from another organ. People with cirrhosis often develop Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC), which is the most common type of primary liver cancer.
Other Conditions Treated in Hepatology include:
Liver-related diseases are treated by a hepatologist. A hepatologist is a liver specialist who also treats disorders associated with the gallbladder, bile ducts, and pancreas.
Our team at Cochise Oncology includes Dr. Vandana Vedula, a top specialist in Gastroenterology and Hepatology.
Gastroenterology focuses on diseases that affect the entire digestive system, whereas hepatology concentrates on portions of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
Dr. Vedula has extensive experience diagnosing, managing, and treating all types of liver disease.
Treatment of liver disease will vary depending on the specific diagnosis. However, the goal of treatment is always to prevent further damage to the liver.
Depending on the type and severity of the liver disease, treatment may involve:
At Cochise Oncology, our team is committed to providing quality care that is responsive to the needs and preferences of our patients.
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