The Hepatology department at King’s College Hospital, Dubai & Abu Dhabi, diagnoses and treats liver, gall bladder and pancreatic problems. We work closely with our Gastroenterology department and King’s College Hepatology service in the UK, which has an international reputation for excellence and is staffed by a team that includes world-renowned specialist liver doctors.
We use Fibroscan®, a non-invasive test that is similar to ultrasound, to identify fibrosis or fatty deposits in the liver as an alternative to taking a biopsy.
We treat a diverse range of liver conditions, as well as rare diseases. These include:
- Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD): a group of conditions caused by the build-up of fat in the liver. It’s more common if you are overweight or obese. In the early stages, it is usually harmless, but it can lead to more serious problems including cirrhosis, as well as making it more likely you will suffer from diabetes, heart attack or stroke.
Treatment: we can recommend lifestyle changes to reverse damage in the early stages. However, if you develop severe cirrhosis, you may need to have a liver transplant
- Alcohol-related liver disease (ARLD): also known as alcoholic fatty liver disease is caused by excessive drinking, leading to a fatty liver, with permanent scarring of the liver.
Treatment: this involves stopping drinking alcohol. If you stop drinking alcohol in the early stages of liver disease, your liver may have a chance to recover. However, for more serious ARLD you may be prescribed medication or need to have a liver transplant. Your doctor will be able to advise you about the best treatment for your stage of liver disease
- Primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) is a long-term disease of the liver, when the bile ducts become damaged, causing a build-up of bile. This leads to permanent scarring (cirrhosis). It’s not certain what causes it, but it is an autoimmune disease (where the immune system mistakenly attacks the bile ducts)
Treatment: PBC is normally treated with medications to slow the disease and relieve some of the symptoms. In some cases, a liver transplant may be advised
- Autoimmune hepatitis
Autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) is an autoimmune disease (where the immune system mistakenly attacks the liver). This causes inflammation and damage, which in turn leads to permanent scarring (cirrhosis).
Treatment: this involves medication to reduce inflammation and suppress the immune system to prevent further damage. In some cases, a liver transplant may be advised
- Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC): a condition where the bile ducts become inflamed and decrease in size due to permanent scarring. It can occur along with ulcerative colitis
- Cirrhosis: this is scarring of the liver. It’s usually caused by excessive alcohol, hepatitis B and C and fatty liver disease (see above)
- Portal hypertension: this is increased blood pressure in the veins that come from the stomach, intestine, spleen and pancreas, where they merge into the portal vein. It can be caused by long term liver disease (see above)
- Genetic liver diseases: the most common of these are:
- Haemochromatosis – where deposits of iron collect in the liver and other organs. Symptoms include liver disease, joint pain, fatigue (extreme tiredness), weight loss, darkening of the skin, abdominal pain and loss of libido (sexual desire). Treatment includes phlebotomy (where blood is removed from the body regularly to reduce the build-up of iron
- Alpha-1 Anti-Trypsin Deficiency – where levels of an important liver protein – Alpha-1 anti-trypsin – are lower than normal or non-existent. Symptoms include fatigue, a long-term cough, swelling of ankles and feet, jaundice, nausea and vomiting. Treatment includes replacing the protein in the bloodstream
Our Hepatology clinics, based in our medical centres in Dubai and Abu Dhabi can provide treatments for several hepatology related conditions. Contact us for more information on liver, gall bladder and pancreatic treatments or to arrange an appointment.