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Diagnostic and Interventional Services for Liver Diseases

Radiology lab with computer screens

Making the right diagnosis is the first step toward effective treatment. Specialists at the Center for Liver Diseases -- including University of Chicago interventional radiologists -- use an array of advanced diagnostic methods to zero in on the cause of an individual’s liver disorder and to determine the degree of severity. Comprehensive diagnostic details are essential to planning the best treatment for each patient. Sometimes, we can address the problem during the diagnostic procedure, so patients can avoid multiple procedures.

Upper endoscopy and colonoscopy performed by our hepatologists, provide an insider’s view of digestive system structures.

Esophageal variceal banding may be performed to locate and treat varicose veins within the esophagus. The hepatologist can use this non-surgical procedure to treat varicose veins that can cause gastrointestinal bleeding.

Liver biopsy is useful for diagnosing liver cancer and other conditions. During the biopsy, a small amount of liver tissue is removed. University of Chicago pathologists then use the most advanced lab tests available to analyze the tissue and identify cancer or other liver diseases. This comprehensive analysis reveals the type of liver disease as well as important details about its stage or severity, genetic abnormalities, or other critical data. In most cases, your liver doctor will perform the liver biopsy.

Paracentesis may be performed to remove excess fluid that has accumulated in the abdomen because of cirrhosis or other forms of liver disease. This procedure can both help with diagnosis of the underlying condition as well as improve patient comfort.

A transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) may be implanted to lower pressure around the liver and reduce fluid accumulation in the abdomen. In addition, TIPS may be recommended for patients with uncontrollable severe internal bleeding from varices.