Liver-related health problems are unique in that they do not cause discomfort, unless they are acute, which does not happen very often. Liver conditions are usually chronic. They start off silently and continue their destructive action for years, without the person knowing they are sick. When the symptoms appear (pain, jaundice, fever, ascites, etc.), they point to cirrhosis or liver cancer and are associated with reduced life expectancy. It is estimated that 320,000 people in Greece have been infected by the hepatitis B virus and 120,000 by the hepatitis C virus, while 1 in 50 people in Europe have contracted hepatitis B or C, according to the World Health Organization. However, chronic viral hepatitis infections are not the leading hepatic problem in the country.
In Greece, as is the case with other Western countries, sedentary lifestyle and binge eating are linked to increasing rates of obesity, diabetes mellitus and metabolic syndrome. These conditions are closely associated with the presence of fatty liver and steatohepatitis, even in patients with no history of alcohol abuse. Steatohepatitis is on the rise in Greece and is comparable in frequency to cirrhosis, liver cancer and chronic viral liver diseases. All these strongly suggest the need for prevention, regular check-ups and treatment of any liver condition as early as possible. The Euroclinic Hepatology Department aims at prevention, diagnosis and treatment of liver conditions.
MEDICAL SERVICES, INFRASTRUCTURE & TECHNOLOGY
The Euroclinic Hepatology Department provides comprehensive services, meeting all needs, ranging from diagnosis to treatment of any liver problems. The services are mainly offered to outpatients and the Department infrastructure includes:
- Hepatology Outpatient Clinic. It operates Monday to Wednesday and Friday mornings.
- Blood draw for same-day testing and results.
- Prescriptions through the National Organization for Healthcare (EOPYY) for biochemical, serum, immunologic and other tests at the highly reliable Euroclinic Labs (ISO TÜV Austria).
- Ultrasound scan by fully trained medical staff.
- FibroScan or Shear-Wave liver elastography.
- CT, MRI, MRA or magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) using latest generation devices.
- Close collaboration with gastroenterologists and interventional radiologists for:
- Upper/Lower digestive tract endoscopies, ERCP, endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) and cholangioscopy.
- Liver biopsy, conventional (Menghini) or ultrasound/CT-guided. Transjugular liver biopsy.
- Stent placement in malignant or benign stenoses.
- Thermocautery of malignant liver tumors, microwave or ultrasound-guided.
- Chemoembolization of malignant liver tumors, with microspheres or lipiodol.
- TIPS placement.
- Biliary procedures and segmental or extended hepatectomy.
- Close collaboration with Transplant Centers in Greece and abroad for referral of patients that require liver transplantation.