The liver is an essential organ that helps maintain the health of almost every other part of the body. The liver’s ability to filter the blood of harmful substances, digest food, and assimilate nutrients is crucial to overall health. The liver is believed to be responsible for about 500 of the body’s most essential processes. Your primary care physician may recommend that you see a hepatologist if they have any concerns that your liver is not functioning normally. In this case, you can consult a liver specialist in Lucknow.
What is a hepatologist, and what do they do?
The study of the liver is known as “hepatology,” which is derived from the Ancient Greek words “hepar” and “hepato,” both of which mean “liver,” and “ology,” which means “study.” The field of hepatology focuses on diagnosing and treating conditions affecting the liver, gallbladder, pancreas, and bile ducts.
Historically, hepatology was considered a specialisation of gastroenterology, the medical field that studies diseases and conditions affecting the whole digestive tract, including the colon, oesophagus, intestines, stomach, and liver. However, with increased knowledge and medical improvements in the treatment and study of the liver, hepatology is fast increasing and is now becoming recognized as a specialty in its own right. You should consult a liver specialist in Lucknow for the best outcomes.
Hepatologists are doctors who specialise in treating specific liver conditions:
To name just a few of the conditions that hepatologists treat, we can list the following:
- Cirrhosis, which is brought on by significant liver scarring
- Cirrhosis and liver damage from alcohol consumption.
- Hepatitis (chronic or acute)
- The condition of having a fatty liver
- Liver issues caused by medication
- Cancer of liver
- Any cause of liver disease, including PBC, PSC, autoimmune liver disease, etc.
In addition to gallstones and pancreatitis, they can treat other conditions associated with the biliary system (pancreatitis).
When a patient needs surgery on their liver, like a liver transplant, a hepatologist will be there to ensure they are healthy before and after the procedure. Although hepatologists cannot treat patients directly, they can help determine whether or not surgery is required by providing a diagnosis.
If I am having issues with my liver, how can I make an appointment with a hepatologist?
Generally speaking, primary care physicians send patients to hepatologists when they notice symptoms like abnormal liver function tests, jaundice, alcohol abuse, or suspicion of hepatitis. However, to make the most efficient use of both your time and the doctor’s, it is best to seek medical attention if you suspect your condition may be liver-related but are unsure.
In addition, some people need pre-and post-operative care for liver surgery because they have ongoing liver problems. Some people who have been sent to a specialist would still benefit from a second opinion. Check authoritative online databases of doctors, call your insurance company, or talk to your primary care physician to see if they can tell you if your hepatologist is certified and accredited.
Is there a difference between a gastroenterologist and a hepatologist?
Diagnosing and treating issues with the liver and biliary system are common starting points for gastroenterologists and hepatologists. Trainees spend five years in school after earning a bachelor’s degree, learning both the fundamentals of internal medicine and the intricacies of gastroenterology. However, after enrolling in a gastroenterology program in the United Kingdom, a trainee must spend at least two years focusing on training in liver disease to earn appropriate certification in hepatology.
In these two years, hepatologists hone their skills as specialists in the liver and biliary treatment instead of gaining a broad understanding of medicine. A hepatologist has a deeper, more nuanced grasp of the liver and its functions than the fundamental knowledge held by all gastroenterologists. After settling on a particular area of expertise, they will still spend a substantial amount of time learning all there is to know about it. This makes them the go-to medical professional for any kind of liver issue.
Your primary care physician can send you to a hepatologist if you have symptoms or risk factors for a liver disorder. The prevalence of hepatic diseases is rising, making hepatology an increasingly important area of study for those with liver problems. Better results are possible with prompt diagnosis and treatment.
Surgeons and medical doctors offering liver disease consultations have completed additional education and training in this area. As a result, when it comes to their respective fields of medicine, the doctors are well-equipped to handle any emergency. When a patient is cared for by a qualified specialist, they may rest easy knowing they will receive the highest quality treatment possible. Finding a qualified medical professional to administer the treatment is crucial and challenging. When choosing a surgeon, it’s essential to find one who will provide the best care possible while also minimising the likelihood of complications after surgery. As a result, finding a qualified liver specialist is the key to treat critical conditions.