Service overview - Hepatology

Hepatology is the branch of medicine that looks at prevention, diagnosis and management of diseases that affect the liver, gall bladder, bile ducts and pancreas.

The liver is a very important organ within the abdomen which filters and cleanses all the blood leaving the stomach and intestines, and regulates most chemical levels in the blood.  You can read more about the liver here https://britishlivertrust.org.uk/information-and-support/liver-health-2/abouttheliver/

AttendAnywhere appointments for patients

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AttendAnywhere video consultations guidance and FAQs for patients

We have introduced video appointments to help us carry on seeing patients during the current coronavirus outbreak.

All you need is

  • an internet enabled device, like a smartphone or tablet, or a computer or laptop with webcam, microphone and speakers 
  • a reliable internet connection
  • Chrome or Safari web browser
  • A quiet and private place to have your appointment

Click here to go to the AttendAnywhere appointments page.

Our Hepatology services

Our Hepatology services are based at Basildon, Broomfield and Southend Hospitals. 

Basildon

Liver team: Consultants: Dr Gavin Wright and Dr Chirag Oza

Consultant’s PA : 01268 524900 (extension 8542)

Liver nurse team: 01268 593078

Broomfield

Liver team: Consultant: Dr Keval Naik

Consultant’s PA: 01245 362000 (extension 4871)

Southend

Liver team: Consultant: Dr Gary Bray

Consultant’s PA: 01702 435555 (extension 5097)

 

Our services

We offer a range of services supported by our hepatology/gastroenterology specialist interest consultants, and specialist liver nurses.  These are:

  • Community and hospital-based viral hepatitis treatment services
  • Joint Liver Transplant Clinics with Addenbrooke’s Transplant Centre which are based at Basildon and Broomfield hospitals
  • Manage autoimmune, viral and metabolic disease and progressive liver failure
  • Specialist alcohol intervention programme
  • Hepatology clinical research trials
  • Clinics
    • general
    • viral hepatitis
    • transplant
    • community
    • virtual
    • Fibroscan
  • Liver multi-disciplinary team (MDT) (with Royal Free Hospital)
  • Hepatopancreatobiliary or HPB (liver, pancreas and bile duct) MDT (with Royal London Hospital)
  • Primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC)/ Autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) MDT ( With Addenbrookes )
  • Viral hepatitis NHS England treatment MDT (With Addenbrookes)
  • Shared care liver services with local Hospice providers.
  • Endoscopy https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/endoscopy/ with experts in advanced therapeutic liver and hepatbiliy therapeutic endoscopy (e.g. banding, glue-therapy DANIS stenting, Endoscopic retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) and Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS))
  • 24/7 consultant cover for gastrointestinal bleeding service.

 

How to access our services

You might access our hepatology services in various ways:

  • A routine or urgent referral from your GP
  • Direct admission through our Emergency Department
  • Referral from community drug and alcohol services
  • Self-referral for hepatitis C virus: email add-tr.hepatitis@nhs.net or telephone 01223 586614
  • Fibroscan: call 01268 593078.

Having a Fibroscan - Information and advice for patients

What is a Fibroscan?

A Fibroscan is a scan of your liver which measure how elastic (or how stiff) your liver is. It is a painless procedure which involves a probe being passed over the top right area of your abdomen. It is similar to an ultrasound scan during pregnancy and can be carried out during an outpatient appointment.

A healthy liver should be soft and elastic but when disease is evident the live becomes stiff.

 

What are the benefits of having a Fibroscan?

Having a Fibroscan will help your doctor to assess whether there is any problem with your liver and assist him/her in planning your treatment.

A Fibroscan is a quick, painless test that gives immediate results. It does not have any potential complications or risks and is non-invasive, which means that it does not break the skin or enter your body.

 

Are there any alternatives to a Fibroscan?

An alternative to having a Fibroscan is to have a liver biopsy; however this is an invasive procedure which involves a needle being inserted into your live to remove a very small piece of it. A liver biopsy carries risks such as bleeding.

 

Are there any special precautions?

You can have a Fibroscan if you are pregnant or have an implantable electronic device, such as a pacemaker or defibrillator.

 

What do I need to do to prepare for the scan?

It is advisable to fast (not eat food) for four hours prior to having the scan. You can take regular medicines and water as normal. You do not need to remove any clothing for the scan, but we will need access to the right side of your abdomen.

 

Having a Fibroscan

  • The Fibroscan takes about 10-20 minutes to perform.
  • You will be asked to lie down and place your right arm above your head.
  • The person performing the investigation will feel your abdomen to find the right place to carry out the scan.
  • A small amount of jelly will be applied to your skin.
  • He/she will place a probe on your abdomen, this will generate a gentle flick against the side of your skin – it should not hurt. There will be approximately 10 ‘flicking’ sensations; this ensures that the test is accurate.

 

What happens after the scan?

You will be able to either go home or return to work straight away.

Your doctor will discuss the results with you when you attend your next follow-up appointment.

 

Contact details

If you have any questions/concerns about having a Fibroscan please contact: 01268 593078

 

Research

We’re involved in a number of research studies in partnership with the National Institute for Health Research and other organisations.

We’re involved in a number of important national and multinational clinical research liver studies covering many areas of liver medicine. These studies are often held in partnership with the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and other world-leading organisations.

If being part of a research trial could be potentially beneficial to you in the treatment of your liver condition and you would like to consider taking part in research, please talk to a member of our team.

Importantly, any involvement in clinical studies will not impact on your clinical care.
 

Our research collaborators include:

  • Royal Free Hospital
  • Institute of Hepatology, Kings College London
  • University College London Hospital
  • Institute of Food Research
  • Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER), Pondicherry India

Liver disease

There are many types of liver disease which might result from

  • contracting a virus like hepatitis B or C
  • excessive use of substances like alcohol
  • metabolic disorders like being overweight or having diabetes
  • inherited diseases
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Disrupted blood supply.

The main focus of liver care is treating the underlying cause of liver disease and stopping or reversing the damage to prevent liver disease progressing to liver failure. We also provide specific management for acute and chronic (long term) liver failure. Liver transplantation can be necessary in the most extreme cases of liver failure.