Conditions and Treatments

Learning that you have a liver disease can be a stressful time, and you will have more than a few questions. At Henry Ford Health System, our skilled team has years of experience in treating all types of liver conditions. We work with you to understand your needs and answer your questions, to provide personalized treatment with a compassionate touch.

Expert care at Henry Ford Liver Disease Center

Our highly trained team includes groundbreaking transplant surgeons who performed the first adult-to-adult living-donor liver transplant and the first split-liver transplant in Michigan. At the Henry Ford Liver Disease Center, our experts in liver care include:

  • Hepatologists: These specialists in diagnosis and treatment of liver, gallbladder and pancreas diseases have board certifications and additional training in their specialty.
  • Liver surgeons: All of our surgeons have advanced training in surgery to treat disorders of the liver, gallbladder, pancreas and bile ducts and perform liver transplants.
  • Surgical oncologists: Our cancer surgeons specialize in liver and pancreatic cancer.
  • Transplant surgeons: With advanced training, our surgeons see the highest volume of patients in Michigan, with excellent outcomes and survival rates.
  • Interventional radiologists: These specialists have expertise in diagnosing and treating people using minimally invasive procedures to avoid the need for surgery.
  • Radiation oncologists: These cancer specialists have advanced training in treating cancer with radiation and other nonsurgical techniques.
  • Nurses: Our nursing team includes specially trained hepatitis nurses and nurses who specialize in caring for people with advanced liver disease and liver cancer.

Liver conditions we treat

Our physicians have extensive expertise in evaluating all types of liver conditions to confirm a diagnosis for the best possible treatment plans. Learn more about our process for screenings and diagnosis of liver disease.

People from the Midwest and all over the country come to Henry Ford for our award-winning care for liver conditions, including:

Cirrhosis

  • Cirrhosis: The development of scar tissue in the liver, which causes the liver to harden, prevents proper liver function and leads to liver failure and other serious complications
  • Primary biliary cirrhosis: Chronic inflammation of the liver that leads to scarring and gradual destruction of the bile ducts, which send bile from the liver to other organs

Hepatitis

  • Hepatitis B: Highly contagious infection caused by a virus that can cause liver failure or liver cancer
  • Hepatitis C: A viral (caused by virus) infection of the liver that can lead to cirrhosis or liver cancer
  • Autoimmune hepatitis: Chronic condition in which the body’s own immune system attacks the liver, leading to cirrhosis and liver failure

Fatty liver disease

  • Alcoholic fatty liver disease: Liver damage due to excessive alcohol consumption, causing the liver cells to swell with fat and water
  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFL): Inflammation caused by fat buildup
  • Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH): Fat buildup in liver cells that leads to inflammation, liver damage, cirrhosis and liver failure

Bile duct diseases

Our hepatology experts treat primary sclerosing cholangitis, inflammation and scar tissue in the bile ducts (the tubes that carry bile from the liver to the small intestine), which can lead to liver failure and possible bile duct cancer.

Cancer

We treat cancers that originate (start growing) in the liver, gallbladder, bile ducts and pancreas.

Our approach to liver disease treatment at Henry Ford

We provide comprehensive, personalized care using innovative treatments that we have helped develop through research and clinical trials. Our expert specialists treat even the most serious, complex liver conditions and cancers. In fact, we’re one of the most sought-after institutions in Michigan for consultations and second opinions.

Depending on your specific health needs, our physicians may recommend one or more of the following treatment options:

  • Lifestyle changes: Our registered dietitians work with you to understand your individual needs. We can recommend changes to diet, physical activity, smoking and other activities that minimize symptoms and improve your overall health.
  • Medications: We can treat many liver conditions with medications that relieve symptoms and improve liver function. The medications we use include:
    • Antibiotics for bacterial infections
    • Antivirals for virus infections
    • Immune therapies to manage autoimmune response
    • Vaccinations to prevent hepatitis B infection
  • Minimally invasive procedures: Our interventional radiologists can diagnose and treat (often during the same procedure) liver conditions using endoscopy. In this procedure, the physician uses an endoscope (thin, flexible tube) with a lighted camera and tiny instruments to assess and treat conditions such as cirrhosis and primary sclerosing cholangitis.
  • Surgery: For some cancers or other liver conditions, our skilled surgeons remove tumors and damaged tissue or transplant a new liver. Whenever possible, we offer minimally invasive techniques, which can offer faster recovery times and less pain. Bariatric (weight loss) surgery can help people achieve a healthy weight, which can relieve symptoms and lower your risk of developing liver disease.
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