Hepatology is a promising medical specialty that involves taking care of patients with a whole spectrum of liver diseases. At Apollo Hospitals, we offer myriad interventions ranging from improved diagnostics, genetic studies, short duration of curative antiviral therapies, preventive strategies, radiological interventions, management of liver cancer and liver transplantation.
We provide comprehensive and complete care for the entire spectrum of liver diseases for patients from all over the country and abroad. Care of patients with end stage liver disease is usually complex and hence liver diseases require the special expertise of dedicated physicians.
Alcohol is an important cause of end stage liver disease in our country. The available evidence indicates that the level of high risk drinking in Tamil Nadu has increased in recent years.
At our Alcoholic Liver Disease Clinic, in addition to managing patients and providing necessary medical care, the families are also given counselling and support. The team performs a comprehensive assessment to identify the present problem, other drug abuse, medical co-morbidities, social circumstances and then arrive at a treatment goal. Once the severity of alcohol dependence is understood, the doctor initiates a brief intervention to effectively reduce the usage of alcohol.
For those patients displaying withdrawal symptoms, withdrawal intervention is done. The patients are monitored regularly through after care strategies and frequent follow up. In order to prevent relapse, regular counselling is given to the patients and discussions are arranged with the family members to understand how the patients are coping.
Cirrhosis is a chronic end stage disease of the liver that is caused by liver cells being damaged and replaced by scar tissue. Cirrhosis can be compensated or decompensated. The symptoms of decompensation are vomiting of blood, black colored motions, fluid accumulation in the abdomen, altered level of consciousness and jaundice.
The liver team at our Cirrhosis Clinic provides comprehensive care to patients through liver cancer screening which includes ascitic fluid drainage, vaccination, maintaining healthy bones and preventing further decompensation.
Our dietician designs a diet chart for Cirrhotic patients to enable them improve their nutrition. Daily follow up clinics for Cirrhotic patients is done at the Cirrhosis clinic. The team aims to identify and treat cirrhosis at an early stage.
Fatty Liver is a chronic, obesity associated liver disease that is linked with insulin resistance. It could be just mild (or) more severe with inflammation and fibrosis. Fatty liver is now emerging as one the commonest causes of Liver Disease and Cirrhosis.
People with high cholesterol levels, Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes are prone to fatty liver. Consuming foods that are high in fat, high sugar and leading a sedentary lifestyle are the biggest risk factors for Fatty Liver.
The team of clinicians at our Fatty Liver Clinic have been trained in some of the best institutions in India and abroad. They work closely with our Metabolic Centre and Nutritionists to design a comprehensive treatment program for patients with Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease.
If a patient has been diagnosed with fatty liver through ultrasound, the key is to determine whether the patient may have any serious liver disease. Liver biopsy is sometimes used to diagnose these advanced stages of the disease. The level of fibrosis can also be assessed by non-invasive tests, including blood tests and scans such as Fibroscan.
Fibroscan is a novel method, now available at Apollo Chennai, to accurately diagnose the level of fibrosis and early stages of cirrhosis. Early diagnosis of significant fibrosis is very important as it identifies patients who are at risk for serious liver disease, and appropriate treatment can be given to them to prevent further damage.
Patients are offered prompt access which helps them in accurate assessment, diagnosis and co-ordinated management of all forms of fatty liver disease. Patients are advised lifestyle changes including diet, exercise and medications when necessary, with regular follow up.
There is currently no medication that can reverse fatty liver induced liver damage. Development of medication that could treat NAFLD and NASH is an area of intense research.
Liver Cancer treatment has been revolutionized in the last two decades. The entire spectrum treatment modalities for liver cancer is available under one roof at our Liver Cancer Clinic.
During the initial visit, the patient will consult with one of our Hepatologists. The patient will be asked to undergo blood tests and CT scan of the liver if not already done. Once the patient’s situation is assessed, his/ her case will then be discussed in the multidisciplinary tumour board which includes a team of Hepatologists, Hepatobiliary Surgeons, Radiation Oncologists, Intervention Radiologists and Medical Oncologists. The best treatment option for the patient depending on the stage of the disease, physical fitness and comorbid illness will then be offered.
For patients within specified criteria, Liver Transplantation is suggested as a curative option. Both living donor and deceased donor liver transplantation can be done at Apollo Hospitals, Chennai. Our goal is to provide the patient a comprehensive treatment plan in one visit. The tumor board conference also convenes to evaluate individual patient response to treatment and plan further treatment when necessary. Another essential member of our team is the social worker who provides evaluation, counselling and psychosocial support for liver cancer patients.
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