Hepatology is a subfield of gastroenterology (disorders of the digestive tract) and deals specifically with liver function and liver diseases.
The Swiss Medical Association (FMH) designation “Focus on hepatology” (Schwerpunkt Hepatologie) is granted to FMH-licensed gastroenterology specialists who have undergone further training in the area of liver diseases. They possess extensive knowledge and skills in the recognising, diagnosing, treating and preventing diseases of the liver and bile ducts.
Hepatologists provide care and treatment for patients with chronic liver diseases, tumours of the liver and bile ducts as well as pre- and post-care for patients receiving liver transplants. The most common syndromes hepatologists deal with include viral liver inflammation (hepatitis), alcohol-related liver damage, cirrhosis of the liver, jaundice and acute liver failure.
Depending on the situation, hepatologists work closely with specialists in other fields, such as visceral surgery, immunology, virology, oncology and endocrinology.