Due to the complex nature of many liver conditions, Gundersen offers a multidisciplinary approach to care. Doctors specializing in liver imaging (radiologist), liver disease (gastroenterologist), liver cancer (medical and radiation oncologist) and liver surgery all work together to provide high-quality, state-of-the-art care.
What is the liver?
The liver is the largest internal organ of the body located in the upper right part of the abdomen, below the diaphragm. The liver has many important functions, affecting all body systems including:
- Processing of nutrients such as fats and carbohydrates and converting them into forms that can be used by the body
- Breaking down and removing waste products and toxins from the blood stream
- Producing cholesterol, substances that help blood clot, bile to aid in the digestion and absorption of nutrients, and essential proteins
- Controlling the amounts of sugar (glucose), protein and fat entering the bloodstream
Secretions are carried from the liver by hepatic ducts into the gall bladder and the common bile duct shared by the pancreas and finally into the small intestine. At Gundersen we treat conditions affecting all these systems.
Surgical diseases of the liver
There are many conditions that can affect the liver that may require surgery. Some of the most common include:
- Primary liver tumors
- Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (bile duct tumors)
- Benign hepatic cysts, lesions and tumor such as focal nodular hyperplasic, hemangioma, hepatic adenoma
- Secondary liver tumors including metastatic colorectal cancer, neuroendocrine tumors and breast cancer
These may be treated by minimally invasive laparoscopic or open surgical procedures, radiofrequency ablation (heat) and chemotherapy.
Surgical diseases of the gallbladder and bile ducts
- Primary biliary tumors including gall bladder cancer and extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma
- Benign biliary conditions including biliary strictures, choledochal cysts and biliary injuries