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Our liver specialists (hepatologists) are internationally recognized for their expertise in treating patients with all types of liver conditions, ranging from the common to the exceedingly rare. Our expertise includes challenging conditions such as chronic viral hepatitis (hepatitis C or hepatitis B), fatty liver, inherited liver diseases including hemochromatosis, autoimmune liver diseases, cirrhosis, end-stage liver disease, hepatocellular (liver) cancer, cholangiocarcinoma (bile duct cancer) and liver metastases from other cancers.
Dramatically improved, well-tolerated, all-oral treatments are now available for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Curing HCV will significantly reduce the long-term risks of liver disease and liver cancer. These developments make the diagnosis of HCV even more urgent. More than half of persons with HCV do not know they have it. Thus, the U.S. Center for Disease Control recommends a one-time HCV antibody test for anyone born between 1945 and 1965 as well as those with risk factors for viral hepatitis.
The MGH Liver and Hepatitis Program has treated patients with HCV infection for many years with good success. Now, with the recent approval of state-of-the-art oral medications for HCV, we are poised to cure more than 90% of persons infected with any genotype (strain) and at any stage of HCV.
We also offer a large number of clinical trials for both hepatitis B and hepatitis C infection through the Liver and Hepatitis Program.
Using state-of-the-art technology and leading-edge medical and surgical interventions, we are able to provide for our patients advanced and timely diagnosis followed by individualized and ongoing care. Our physicians work closely with other specialists in the Liver Center of the Digestive Healthcare Center.
Each patient's treatment is provided by a personal care team headed by the liver specialist. The liver specialist meets regularly with the other team members to review individual patient’s cases and update treatment plans. The team works with both the patient and the referring physicians to coordinate a care plan designed to produce the best possible outcome. In addition to the hepatologist, our team includes interventional endoscopists, interventional/vascular radiologists, medical and surgical oncologists, liver surgeons, transplant surgeons, and pathologists. The staff of the Fatty Liver Clinic also collaborate with the Weight Center to treat and manage fatty liver disease.
We offer all patients, both in the hospital and out, access to a broad range of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. These include noninvasive alternatives to liver biopsy as a means of assessing the extent of liver damage (fibrosis). Our Liver Center now offers a new noninvasive test known as transient elastography (Fibroscan), an ultrasound-like test which can safely and accurately assess the extent of long-term damage from hepatitis C and many other liver conditions. We also provide a rapid turnaround time and expert analysis of test findings 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. One of our physicians is available around the clock to confer with referring physicians.
Our diagnostic radiology colleagues are dedicated imaging specialists whose practice focuses specifically on GI scans. They are nationally recognized for expertise in all forms of sophisticated imaging of the liver, including: CT scans, PET and fused PET-CT scans, MRI scans with diffusion-weighted images, liver biopsies under ultrasound or CT guidance, bile duct imaging, and GI interventional procedures including biliary drainage and vascular shunt procedures (TIPS), as well as radiofrequency ablation, chemoembolization, and radioembolization of liver tumors. We are also working with our radiology colleagues to develop other noninvasive alternatives to liver biopsy.
We were among the first centers in the world to introduce antiviral therapies for hepatitis B (HBV) and hepatitis C (HCV) infection. Patients have access to novel treatments through ongoing research initiatives, including:
Our liver doctors evaluate and manage the medical needs of all patients awaiting liver transplantation. Potential candidates for liver transplant surgery are evaluated by a multidisciplinary group of caregivers in our Mass General Transplant Center. Our transplant surgeons perform all types of liver transplants in both adults and children, including:
Whenever possible, patients undergo minimally invasive treatment, which has the benefit of faster recovery times, smaller surgical scars and reduced risk. Minimally invasive surgical procedures include: liver resections, as well as radiofrequency ablation, chemoembolization, radioembolization, and proton beam therapy of liver tumors, all performed in conjunction with the Mass General Cancer Center.
We were one of the first hospitals in the United States to perform radiofrequency ablation of a liver tumor, a procedure that destroys liver tumors by heating and killing cancer cells.
One of the largest liver programs in New England, we have in-depth experience treating patients with all types of liver conditions, including:
We provide patients and referring physicians with an experienced access coordinator, a clinician who helps assess patient needs and coordinate appointments. Contact the Liver and Hepatitis Program Access Coordinator
Calls will be returned by the end of the next business day.
Our team approach to care ensures each patient benefits from a coordinated, individualized treatment plan developed by specialists who focus on treating liver conditions. Our services include:
Together with the Transplant Center and the Cancer Center, we provide a full range of treatment options and strive to offer the best possible outcomes for our patients.
We have one of the highest volumes of referrals for outpatient hepatology visits in the Northeast.
Our surgeons are nationally recognized experts in treating hepatobiliary disease, which includes diseases of the liver, gall bladder and bile ducts. Our surgeons perform some of the highest volumes of liver resections in New England. Learn more about liver surgery in the Department of Surgery
Our physicians are active in clinical trials and research studies related to liver conditions, allowing us to bring our patients promising new treatments as quickly as possible.
Mass General is one of nine centers nationwide to participate in a National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded study of antiviral therapy for chronic Hepatitis C, The HALT-C (Hepatitis C Antiviral Longterm Treatment against Cirrhosis) trial, which seeks therapies for patients who have not responded to previous treatment.
MGH is also one of ten centers nationwide to participate in a National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded study of antiviral therapy for chronic Hepatitis B, the HBV Clinical Research Network, which seeks to test novel combinations of therapy to increase eradication rates of chronic HBV infection.
Patients interested in participating in clinical trials can browse online for open trials.
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Alcohol-induced liver disease, as the name implies, is caused by excessive consumption of alcohol and is a common, but preventable, disease.
Hepatitis is the inflammation of the liver, resulting in liver cell damage and destruction. Alcoholic hepatitis is a complex problem and is a precursor to chronic liver disease and cirrhosis.
Hepatitis is the inflammation of the liver, resulting in liver cell damage and destruction. In autoimmune hepatitis, the body's own immune system destroys liver cells.
Chronic liver disease is marked by the gradual destruction of liver tissue over time. Several liver diseases fall under this category, including cirrhosis of the liver and fibrosis of the liver.
Congenital liver defects are rare liver diseases present at birth such as biliary atresia, when the bile ducts are absent or have developed abnormally, and choledochal cyst, a malformation of the hepatic duct that can obstruct flow of bile in infants.
Hepatitis is the inflammation of the liver, resulting in liver cell damage and destruction. Drug-induced hepatitis is rare and is caused by toxic exposure to certain medications, vitamins, herbal remedies, or food supplements.
Hepatitis A is a highly contagious and sometimes serious liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus.
Hepatitis B is a blood-borne microorganism transmitted by exposure to the hepatitis B virus through infectious body fluids.
Hepatitis C (once called non-A, non-B hepatitis) is a liver disease caused by a recently identified blood-borne virus.
Tumors are abnormal masses of tissue that form when cells begin to reproduce at an increased rate. The liver can grow both non-cancerous (benign) and cancerous (malignant) tumors.
An autoimmune disorder is any reaction or attack of a person's immune system against its own organs and tissues.
The MGH Wellness Center and Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine offers group mind-body intervention as a plausible option for treating anxiety and depression.
Current and former fellows and program mentors reunited Sept. 21 at the Liberty Hotel to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the MGH Administrative Fellowship Program.
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