At a time when liver disease is on the increase, the range of diagnostic and treatment facilities is comprehensive and our distinguished teams of physicians and surgeons all hold senior positions in London’s renowned teaching hospitals.
Our specialists, supported by dedicated nursing teams, treat patients suffering with everything from alcohol related disease to auto immune conditions to HPB cancers. Two of our surgical teams carry out live related liver transplants.
Referrals come in the main from general practitioners and tertiary referrers including other gastroenterologists and endocrine specialists.
At HCA each HPB team has access to the very latest diagnostic and imaging technology and initial tests are analysed by our own dedicated laboratories based in Devonshire Street in central London. Patient blood samples are examined at HCA Laboratories and when complete, the results are sent digitally to a consultant’s PC or to the appropriate nursing station if the patient has been admitted.
One of the most modern aids to diagnosis of early liver disease is Fibroscan®, a mobile scanner that can show the density of tissue and thus indicate the need for in depth investigation.
Non-invasive measurement of fibrosis using the Fibroscan® is a convenient way of identifying patients who have or are at risk of advanced fibrosis and so allowing early intervention before the development of cirrhosis. Fibroscanning is appropriate in the investigation and management of patients with viral hepatitis, fatty liver disease and is helpful to exclude advanced fibrosis in patients with abnormal liver function tests.
In some cases more invasive sampling techniques may be required to confirm diagnosis. Our doctors perform endoscopic biopsies of the pancreatic and biliary system; trans-jugular biopsies of the liver and biliary system; percutaneous biopsies of the HPB system and intra-operative biopsies of the HPB system.
The importance of performing liver biopsies at a designated center where the trans-jugular technique can be utilised as well as the services of specialist histopathologists cannot be over emphasised.
In addition to a steady growth in alcohol related disease, increasing international travel is also reflected by increasing number of cases of hepatitis. While the recovery rate for hepatitis A is 99%, hepatitis B and especially C give most cause for concern with many millions of people around the work infected and the numbers increasing constantly.
Clearly not everyone who gets hepatitis B will go on to get liver disease and so treatment is based on blood test analysis and a patient’s individual health history.
Treatment for Hepatitis C (HCV) varies according to genotype, the stage at which a patient presents and whether the patient has been treated before. The aim is for early treatment with antiviral therapy to stop the virus multiplying and thus stop it causing liver damage.
However, with progressive 'chronic' liver disease caused by hepatitis C, the aim is to decide whether a patient requires control of the symptoms of liver disease or needs assessment of the need for liver transplantation.
Our HPB specialists also treat acute liver disease, HPB cancers, liver abscesses and cysts, auto immune conditions, gall stones and less common conditions such as Budd Chiari Syndrome (BCS).
HCA’s hospitals are among the best equipped in the country. It is the largest provider of ICU and high dependency beds outside the NHS. With HPB centers of excellence at The Wellington, London Bridge and Princess Grace Hospitals and specialist teams comprised of some of the nation’s leading specialists together with dedicated technical and nursing teams, there are many good reasons to entrust patients to their care.
For more information, please visit www.HCAHospitals.co.uk