Have you experienced some issues with your liver, pancreas and/or gallbladder? If you are looking to understand these issues in detail or find an exact diagnosis, then a consultation with a hepatologist should be your next step.
Hepatology is a subfield in medicine that deals with the study of the liver, pancreas, biliary tract and the gallbladder. These organs help in digesting our food, in detoxification and maintaining blood sugar levels in our body.
The consultation procedure has a few main steps, such as:
Interview: The interview is the core of any consultation procedure. Your hepatologist will inquire about your medical history, ask you detailed questions about the symptoms you have been experiencing and any previous treatments you had for them. You should also answers questions about your lifestyle such as your diet, your exercise regimen and alcohol and drug intake. Your current conditions, the results of your blood test and imaging tests, a diagnosis and possible treatments will also be discussed.
2. Further tests: If you have not yet had an imaging test, your hepatologist will ask you to undergo either an ultrasound or a fibroscan, which is more specific to understanding the liver, or a CT scan. In some cases, a further appointment for undergoing a biopsy may also be set.
There are a few points that are important to keep in mind during your appointment:
Depending on your case, the doctor may recommend further examinations such as:
Your will be asked to come in for another appointment after the follow-up tests or treatments to discuss the next steps.
Any extra tests performed during the consultation will be an added cost. In addition, the cost of the consultation depends on a variety of factors that vary between countries such as the exchange rate and the cost of living.