Why Choose Us for Liver Care?
There are many good reasons to choose the University of Chicago Medicine for diagnosis and treatment of liver disease.
Among the Nation’s Best
The University of Chicago Medicine has one of the premier gastroenterology and hepatology programs in the U.S. Year after year, our GI program is ranked among the nation’s best for treating digestive system disorders in U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings of America’s best hospitals.
Experience: A Long Legacy of Treatment and Research
Patients here benefit from decades of experience. In fact, the University of Chicago was the first academic medical center in the U.S. to establish a full-time GI department--back in 1927. Today’s physicians, researchers and other members of our team build on more than eight decades of experience, research discoveries and treatment innovations related to liver disease and other digestive system disorders.
Our liver unit has been active since 1971. The unit oversees many clinical trials of new therapies for liver disease.
The University of Chicago is one of the most experienced centers for liver transplantation. Our liver transplant program was established in 1984--the first in the Midwest and only the fourth liver transplant program in the U.S. at that time. Over the decades, transplant surgeons here have made innovations that have revolutionized liver transplantation, particularly in the area of living-donor transplant.
There’s more to treating liver disease than advanced medicine. Individually tailored treatment, personalized support and ongoing education help patients through the lengthy and often challenging journey of living with liver disease. Nurse specialists, physician assistants, social workers, registered dietitians and other members of our team have important roles in supporting each patient and his or her family throughout their treatment.
Coordinated Care to Meet Patients’ Complex Needs
Some people with liver disease have related medical problems in other areas, such as diabetes, kidney disease or heart disease. At the University of Chicago, more than 700 specialists work under the same roof and in continual communication with one another. Whether you need care from an endocrinologist, nephrologist, cardiologists, transplant surgeon or other specialist, you can be assured that these specialists will collaborate on your behalf.
Ongoing Research Heightens Treatment Effectiveness
Research leads to better ways to treat, diagnose and even prevent liver disease. Members of our team are actively involved in research on two fronts: in the lab ("basic" research) and with patients ("clinical" research).
In the lab, scientists are focusing on hepatitis and other liver diseases at the cellular level. Deeper understanding about how liver disease develops and progresses at its most fundamental level can someday lead to more effective treatments.
Clinical research often has a more timely impact on treating liver disease. As one of the nation’s leading academic hospitals, the University of Chicago Medicine offers many clinical trials of promising new therapies for different types of liver disease. Often, these clinical trials are open to individuals whose disease has relapsed or resisted standard treatments. Additional research focuses on many areas, including complications of chronic liver disease, such as variceal bleeding and encephalopathy (changes in cognitive function that can result when the liver is unable to clear toxins, which then accumulate in the brain). »Learn more about clinical trials for liver disease
A History of Accomplishments
The University of Chicago Medicine has been home to major advances in gastroenterology. Some of our highlights include:
- More than 75 years of international leadership in research and treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD).
- Many firsts in liver transplantation: the first segmental transplant in the U.S. (1985), the first split-liver transplant in the U.S. (1988), and the first successful living-donor liver transplant in the world (1989). Our transplant surgeons also are world leaders in performing multiple-organ transplants, such as combined liver-heart-kidney transplantation.
- The first hospital to use a gastroscope to view organs of the digestive system. Introduced in the 1930s, the gastroscope was hailed as the most important diagnostic tool since X-ray imaging.