General Health

Who is a Hepatologist?

The term “hepatologist” refers to a medical doctor who specializes in diagnosing, treating, and managing conditions related to the liver, pancreas, gallbladder, and bile ducts.

What conditions do hepatologists analyze, diagnose, and treat?

A wide range of diseases that affect the hepatic and biliary systems can be treated by hepatologists. The following are a few of the common ailments:

  • Cirrhosis
  • Liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma)
  • Liver damage
  • Fatty liver disease
  • Hepatitis A,B, C, D, and E
  • Autoimmune hepatitis
  • Alcoholic hepatitis
  • Bile duct cancer
  • Liver cell adenoma
  • Acute liver failure
  • Pancreatitis
  • Gallstones
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Primary biliary cholangitis
  • Primary sclerosing cholangitis
  • Bile duct stones
  • Gallbladder inflammation

 Your chance of developing the liver disease may be affected by the following factors:

  • Chronic alcoholism
  • Obesity
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • An inheritance of liver illness
  • Substance abuse or drug overdose

When should you visit a hepatologist?

If you experience any of the following signs and symptoms of liver disease, see a hepatologist right away:

  •  Inadequate liver function test findings
  • Jaundice
  • Edema and discomfort in the abdomen
  • Loss of appetite
  • Leg and ankle swelling
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Dark yellow or brown urine
  • Pale stool color

Which procedures are performed by them?

Hepatologists typically perform a wide range of conventional procedures, such as:

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  • Imaging examinations- To check for gallstones and unusual growths on the hepatic organs, imaging testing may include ultrasounds.
  • Hepatobiliary iminodiacetic acid scans, also known as cholescintigraphy scans, employ radiotracers to help visualize the biliary system and track bile production.
  • Liver biopsies- A sample of liver tissue is taken in order to diagnose problems.
  • Fibro Scan- This measures the liver’s stiffness.
  • Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography- This procedure combines endoscopy and X-rays to examine for issues with the pancreatic and bile ducts.
  • Transhepatic pancreato-cholangiography- Another treatment that involves an injection of contrast to get sharper pictures of the ducts is transhepatic pancreato-cholangiography.
  • Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt- Using this technique, a stent is inserted to join two veins in the liver. This lowers the portal vein’s excessive blood pressure.

What does it take to become a hepatologist?

To become a dermatologist, you must have finished class XII with physics, chemistry, and biology as major subjects. An applicant must possess the following:

Take the NEET UG for MBBS admissions.

Pass the admission exam and show up for the counselling session.

Choose a college from the list and apply. Complete your undergraduate studies.

Finish the required internship.

Fill up an application for the NEET PG/ AIIMS PG/ INI CET.

Clear the way and go to the counselling session.

Choose a college from the list and apply. Complete your DM Hepatology.

Get your master’s degree.

You are now qualified to work in a hospital or clinic.

References:

https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/what-is-a-hepatologist#:~:text=Hepatologists%20are%20medical%20doctors%20who,millions%20of%20people%20each%20year.

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/liver-specialist

https://www.webmd.com/hepatitis/liver-and-hepatic-diseases

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/liver-problems/symptoms-causes/syc-20374502

https://www.healthline.com/health/what-is-hepatology#hepatology

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