Treatment for the Diseases of the Liver, Pancreas and Bile Ducts
A multidisciplinary team at Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin offers advanced diagnosis and treatment for diseases of the liver, pancreas and bile ducts. As one of the premier academic medical centers in the Midwest, Froedtert & The Medical College are renowned for having the expertise, technology and experience to treat these complex disorders.
The liver, pancreas and bile ducts, along with the gallbladder, form an important part of the digestive system:
- The liver, the largest internal organ in the body, lies in the right upper half of the abdomen. The liver performs many vital functions:
- Processes and stores many of the nutrients absorbed from the intestine
- Makes some of the clotting factors needed to stop bleeding from a cut or injury
- Secretes bile into the intestine to help absorb nutrients
- Removes toxic wastes from the body
- The pancreas is a 6-inch-long gland located in the abdomen behind the stomach. The pancreas is composed of three parts: the head, body and tail. It produces and releases insulin and glucagon into the bloodstream to keep blood sugar levels within a normal range. The pancreas also plays a key role in nutrition. As food enters the intestine, the pancreas produces enzymes to aid in the digestion of fats, proteins and carbohydrates.
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- Bile ducts are long, tube-like structures that carry bile, which is excreted from the liver to the intestine and is used to help digest food. A network of bile ducts branch throughout the liver.
- The gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ that stores bile (or gall) until the body needs it for digestion. The gallbladder lies under the liver in the upper abdomen and is connected to the liver and the duodenum (the first part of the small intestine) by the biliary tract.
Specialized TeamDisorders of the liver, pancreas and bile ducts require treatment by specialists with advanced training and experience. Whether receiving treatment for a liver, gallbladder, bile duct or pancreatic condition, or undergoing a liver transplant, Froedtert & The Medical College use a collaborative approach to care. Team members are highly skilled and experienced in performing diagnostic tests and complex treatments for diseases of the liver, pancreas and bile ducts.
Team members include:
- Surgical oncologists with expertise and experience in performing surgery of the liver, gallbladder, pancreas and bile ducts
- Hepatologists — physicians who specialize in liver disease
- Interventional radiologists — physicians who use imaging, such as ultrasound, to perform targeted, minimally invasive procedures to diagnose and treat disease
- Gastroenterologists — physicians with extensive training in performing diagnostic tests and treating diseases of the digestive tract
Medical oncologists — physicians who specialize in diagnosing and treating cancer and use chemotherapy and other drugs to treat cancer
- Radiation oncologists — physicians who specialize in treating cancer with radiation therapy
- Advanced practice nurses and physician assistants who work directly with physicians to help evaluate patients and facilitate care to meet all patient needs.
These specialists work together to offer each patient the optimal treatment plan, which may involve a combination of tests and treatments. The shared expertise of many specialists produces a higher rate of successful treatment for patients. Patients receive comprehensive care from the time of diagnosis and continuing through treatment and beyond.
Froedtert & The Medical College surgeons perform more than 1,000 procedures of the liver, pancreas and bile ducts each year, and interventional radiologists perform a variety of percutaneous procedures. Patient outcomes correlate with the high volume of procedures we perform.
As an academic medical center, Froedtert & The Medical College are at the forefront in using state-of-the-art radiology systems from GE Medical Systems. This technology provides the most advanced diagnostic tools
Author: Marla Fraunfelder
|Medical Reviewer: ||Kathleen Christians, MD, FACS|
|Edward Quebbeman, MD, PhD|
Last Review Date: Nov. 15, 2010
Online Editor(s): Christopher Sadler