As your largest internal organ, your liver performs lot of important jobs to help your body run smoothly. It cleans your blood of waste products and bacteria; stores vitamins, sugar and iron to give you energy; makes bile—a liquid that helps with digestion; helps you fight infections and more.
If you have a liver condition, trust the experienced hepatologists at UNC Medical Center to provide individually tailored treatment that incorporates the newest, most effective therapies available. Our liver experts offer routine diagnostic procedures as well as specialized treatments, including liver transplant. If you have related medical problems, such as diabetes or heart disease, we’ll work with specialists in those areas to ensure you receive seamless, coordinated care.
Liver Conditions We Treat
Find treatment for a wide range of liver diseases at UNC Medical Center, including:
- Autoimmune hepatitis – An immune system attack on the liver, causing damage
- Viral hepatitis – Inflammation of the liver due to viral infections
- Alcoholic fatty liver disease (ALD) – Extra fat in liver cells due to drinking too much alcohol
- Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) – Extra fat in liver cells, not caused by alcohol
- Cholestatic liver disorders – Liver disease caused by blocked or slowed bile flow
- Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) – Too much bile in the liver due to inflammation, scarring and narrowing of the bile ducts
- Primary biliary cirrhosis – Excess bile in the liver due to inflamed, damaged or missing bile ducts
- Cirrhosis – An accumulation of scar tissue in the liver, caused by chronic liver disease
- Acute (fulminant) liver failure – A rapid loss of liver function, usually with no pre-existing liver disease
- Liver cancer, including hepatocellular carcinoma
- Inherited disorders such as hemochromatosis and Wilson disease
Procedures & Tests We Offer
Your hepatologist will create a personalized treatment plan based on the cause and severity of your liver damage. Take advantage of:
- Liver enzyme tests – Check how well the liver works using blood tests that detect inflammation and damage to the organ
- Liver imaging tests – Use images of the liver, gallbladder and bile ducts that show structural abnormalities, detect gallstones or tumors, blocked ducts and more; may include ultrasound, computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) – Examines your esophagus, stomach and the first part of your small intestine using a long, flexible tube with a camera on the end, called an endoscope
- Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) – Takes X-rays after dye is injected into your bile ducts to make them visible; if the exam shows gallstones or narrow bile ducts, your doctor can remove or relieve the obstruction
- Liver biopsy – Removes a small piece of the liver so it can be examined for signs of damage or disease
- Liver transplant – Replaces your damaged organ with a healthy liver from a donor
- Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) – Creates new connections between blood vessels in your liver so blood can flow more easily
- Fibroscan – A non-invasive test to assess for liver fibrosis.
Liver Care Close to Home
Hepatology services are available at UNC Medical Center in Chapel Hill and nearby at the UNC Eastowne Medical Office Building. Depending on your condition, you may be able to receive some of your liver care at outreach satellite clinics throughout the state in Raleigh, Wilmington and Greenville.