Ken Teoh

Ten Issues to Discuss With Your Liver Specialist

To make the most of your meeting with your hepatologist, we'll show you how to best be ready for it. In this piece, we also go through 10 questions you should ask your hematologist. It could seem overwhelming, but we're here to support you.

What this article contains

  • A visit to a hepatologis
  • Getting ready for the appointment
  • 10 inquiries to make to your hepatologist

A visit to a hepatologist

This indicates a concern about the health of your liver, regardless of whether you have been directed to a specialist or have chosen to go see one on your own. It's critical to arrive at your appointment prepared so that you can make the most of the time and so that your doctor can provide the finest care possible.

Getting ready for the appointment

Prior to your visit, you should get information about any pre-appointment limitations, such as food restrictions the day of or before your appointment. Inform your doctor of your symptoms, including when they first appeared and any changes or deterioration you may have seen over time. Also, make a note of all the drugs you are currently taking, including any vitamins or supplements. Inform them of your eating and living practices, including any smoking and alcohol use. You can keep a diary for one to two weeks before to your visit if you're unsure. Make sure to inform your hepatologist of any existing medical illnesses you may have, and bring any test results you may have, such as MRI or ultrasound scans or the findings of a liver biopsy.
You can always bring a family member or friend with you to the appointment if you are anxious about going or feel like you need some support. They might even be able to remind you to tell your doctor all they need to know. Having a second person who can remember key information from your doctor's replies is also beneficial in case you subsequently forget.

10 inquiries to make to your hepatologist

  • How far along is the damage to my liver?
  • What is the source of this harm?
  • Can I slow down or stop the damage to my liver?
  • What alternatives do I have for treatment?
  • What will happen if this condition is not treated?
  • Should I adhere to a nutrition strategy?
  • What adjustments to my way of life will be necessary?
  • Are there any vitamins or medications that could harm my liver?
  • What complications-related symptoms and indications should I be on the lookout for?
  • How can I handle my current medical conditions in the best way possible?
These are some of the questions you should ask your liver specialist. For more information and if you have any further questions you can ask the liver specialists at https://alphagastro.sg/ - Alpha Digestive & Liver Centre | Dr Benjamin Yip is a clinic with experts which you can call at 65 8876 9034 or visit at 3 Mount Elizabeth, Medical Centre, 15-09, Singapore 228510.

A Hepatologist Should Be Consulted When

A reddish-brown, fist-sized organ, the liver is the liver. On your right side, it is directly under your ribcage. It aids in the removal of toxins from your body. Your body can't utilise your blood and food the way it should when the liver isn't doing its function. Your doctor might refer you to a hepatologist if they notice or think that your liver isn't functioning properly.
Before you seek therapy from a hepatology expert, learning more about the subject will help you relax. Discover the duties of hepatologists, when to consult one, and what to anticipate from your initial appointment.

A hepatologist is what?

First of all, a hepatologist and a hematologist are not the same thing. Hematologists are medical professionals who specialize in "blood," not digestion like hepatologists.
A physician who has spent years studying the liver, pancreas, gallbladder, and biliary ducts is known as a hepatologist. The liver, pancreas, and gallbladder are all big digestive organs that are located behind the stomach (vessels that help those organs function as part of the digestive system).
Hepatology, or the study of the liver, was once regarded as a branch of gastroenterology, but it is now beginning to stand on its own in the medical community. Because hepatologists are specialists, you're more likely to visit one on the advice of your primary care physician than to look for one on your own.

Why you should visit a hepatologist

Yellow skin and pee that is dark yellow or brownish are some indicators that your liver isn't functioning properly. Heartburn and other severe, persistent digestive issues, such as discomfort following meals, may potentially be signs of a liver function.
Patients with severe and persistent disorders, such as: are diagnosed, treated, and the results of diagnostic tests and examinations are provided.
  • Damage to the liver or scarring Alcoholism is a common cause of cirrhosis.
  • infection with hepatitis
  • Damage to the biliary tract or pancreas
  • liver tumor
  • Overdose on drugs
  • liver illness that is genetic and metabolic
  • Gallstones are calcified collections of bile in the gallbladder.
  • Pancreas inflammation is referred to as pancreatitis.
Hepatologists don't undertake surgery; instead, they carry out minimally invasive diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. When a patient has a relevant surgical operation, such as a liver transplant or gallstone removal, carried out by skilled surgeons, a hepatologist will oversee their pre- and post-operative care.

Hepatologist licensure

Although they are not required to be, gastroenterologists tend to be hepatologists. Hepatology is currently not a distinct certification because it is regarded as a branch of gastroenterology. A medical doctor (MD) or osteopathic doctor (DO), who has completed a four-year undergraduate degree and medical school, is trained during an internship and then completes a three-year residency in internal medicine. They then finish three more years of study and practice in gastroenterology and hepatology.
The American Board of Internal Medicine offers certification in gastroenterology following all those years of education.

Referral studies

You can look up healthcare resources online, call your insurance company, or consult your primary care doctor to learn if your hepatologist is board-certified or to find one who is. You may find out more about how to identify a decent specialist here, regardless of whether you've been referred to a specific hepatologist or are looking for one on your own.
Although your specialist concentrates on particular illnesses or bodily functions, assisting you should be their primary emphasis. Finding the appropriate hepatologist doesn't have to be difficult, even though being referred to one could initially be unsettling. Contact a professional who can assist you understand what you can both do to get better and ask questions, get answers, and find a specialist.

Initial consultation: what to ask

If you've never seen a hepatologist before, you might have a lot of questions. Before choosing a hepatologist, you should be aware of several crucial facts if you're conducting your own study. These are some inquiries to make:
  • What board credentials and background does the hepatologist possess?
  • How big is the medical facility?
  • Exists a waiting list? In that case, when can you anticipate an appointment?
  • Are there any special preparations you should make before the appointment?

Taking up fasting or quitting some medications, for instance.

You could feel anxious about the initial visit once you've picked your choice (or received your specific referral). First, anticipate to complete questions that will help the hepatologist better understand your medical history and the circumstances surrounding your referral. Your blood pressure and weight will likely be taken, and a nurse might draw blood samples for testing. The doctor will probably examine you, and they might also discuss potential therapies for your problem or prescribe additional tests. Take your time and ask as many questions as necessary to ensure your comfort with your treatment.