What does a hepatologist do?

Hepatology is a medical specialty dealing with liver and bile duct diseases. The gastroenterologist-hepatologist diagnoses and treats liver and bile duct diseases, as well as cares for chronic liver patients.

In case of what problems should we consult a hepatologist?

Most liver diseases can remain asymptomatic for a long time, only the increase in so-called liver function laboratory values draws attention to it. Initial symptoms are usually mild, characterized by weakness, abdominal discomfort, loss of appetite, nausea, pain under the right rib. Advanced liver disease has typical symptoms such as jaundice, abdominal circumference, star-shaped vasodilation on the chest skin, and redness of the palm.

Common hepatological examinations

Regular screening is very important for symptomatic poverty, especially in those with a family history of liver disease, who work with chemicals, or who are taking medicines that damage the liver.

Fibrotouch can be used to determine the extent of liver damage using a simple procedure similar to ultrasound. The liver is able to regenerate to a high degree for a long time, but if it suffers a series of adverse effects that it cannot repair, the inflamed parts heal with scarring and the scar tissue leads to a decrease in the amount of functional liver tissue over time. This process, called fibrosis, can go unnoticed for years, and symptoms often only occur when the disease is already very advanced. Liver cirrhosis due to fibrosis can eventually cause death.

Investigation, treatment and prevention of virus-induced hepatitis (hepatitis A, B, C, E) by vaccination. Hepatitis A and E are most commonly absorbed by infected foods and cause symptoms of acute hepatitis or indigestion, and usually occur spontaneously. Hepatitis B and C are blood-borne and sexually transmitted viruses. They are characterized by the fact that they can remain asymptomatic for up to 20-30 years, causing chronic hepatitis, and often only severe cirrhosis calls attention to them. We can protect against hepatitis B with a vaccine, we do not currently have a vaccine against hepatitis C. There are also a number of effective medications for hepatitis B and C that can be prescribed by a hepatologist.

Investigation and treatment of benign and malignant tumours of the liver and cystic lesions. There may be a number of benign and malignant tumours in the liver, which can be primary and metastatic tumours. Chronic viral infection and connective tissue remodelling of the liver contribute to the development of primary tumours. Their diagnosis is often possible with the help of abdominal ultrasound, but often additional imaging examinations (CT, MR, PET CT) are also required.

Fatty liver is a popular disease of our time, nowadays the most common cause of cirrhosis. The most common causes of non-alcoholic fatty liver are obesity and high blood fat levels, but it often occurs in patients with normal body weight. Fat deposited in the liver can cause inflammation and later connective tissue remodelling called cirrhosis. Fatty liver can usually be seen by abdominal ultrasound or MRI, but CAP can give an accurate numerical value for the degree of fatty tissue or connective tissue remodelling.