At the Hepatology Program, our goal is to diagnose, prevent and treat liver disease as early as possible. The most common liver diseases we treat are due to fatty liver, alcohol related liver injury and Hepatitis C. We also manage less common liver conditions, such as autoimmune hepatitis, primary biliary cholangitis, primary sclerosing cholangitis, and hemochromatosis among many others.
Why is your liver important?
The liver is the largest organ in your body, located behind your ribs on the upper right side of the abdomen. The liver filters your blood of toxins we ingest every day in our diet and creates bile to help your body digest food. The liver makes several proteins including clotting agents that help stop bleeding after an injury or cut. It also stores certain nutrients absorbed by the intestines.
What does it mean to have liver damage?
Liver diseases of all types can cause irritation or inflammation of the liver. Over time this type of injury causes scarring in the liver. We measure the degree of liver scarring in a variety of ways including blood tests, imaging tests, liver biopsy and FibroScan. Our goal is to diagnose and treat the liver condition to prevent or even reverse the scarring.
Liver Tumor Clinic
The Liver Tumor Clinic is the only clinic of its kind in Northern New England. Our goal is to diagnose and develop a treatment plan for those with primary liver lesions in one trip.
The clinic's interdisciplinary approach helps to ensure that difficult diagnoses and treatment options are shared with you appropriately. The clinic includes specialists in:
- Hepatobiliary and transplant surgery
- Interventional radiology
- Medical and radiation oncology
- Nutrition and palliative care
Our team focuses on helping those with liver tumors, end-stage liver disease, and recurrent liver cancer. We offer the most effective treatment options, symptom management, and supportive care. If you suffer from hepatocellular carcinoma, we offer evaluation for liver transplantation.
The Liver Tumor Clinic also sees people with benign liver lesions or tumors such as hepatic adenoma and focal nodular hyperplasia to help decide the best way to follow these lesions.
Services we offer
FibroScan is a safe, simple, non-invasive alternative to a liver biopsy, which allows our team to find out the amount of liver fibrosis, or scarring of the liver. It can be used with many liver diseases, including Hepatitis C and B, autoimmune liver diseases and fatty liver disease. It can also be used to follow liver fibrosis long term. To perform a FibroScan properly, we will ask that you not eat or drink (except water) for 3 hours prior to your appointment.
Contact our office to learn more about FibroScan.
Liver transplant and end stage liver disease
We provide state-of-the-art care for patients with end-stage liver disease. Although there is an organ shortage for those in need of a liver transplant, our team's goal is to provide patients and their families the best chance to get on a liver transplant list at one of our partner transplantation programs. Our expert team will work with you to stay healthy while waiting for a liver transplant, and take care of you after the transplant.
Contact our office to learn more about the end-stage liver disease referral process, and about becoming a candidate to receive a liver transplant.
The liver team will work with your doctor to help diagnose and treat Hepatitis C. We will ask your doctor to do simple blood tests, and send us results, prior to your visit. At your visit, we will have an ultrasound done to look at your liver, and you will be checked for liver scarring without a biopsy using our Fibroscan technology. By the end of the visit, you will know how much liver disease you have, and we will provide you a complete plan for treatment of your liver disease.
Meet our director
Hepatology Program team
- Chelsea Curran, APRN
- Mary Drinane, MD, Hepatologist
- Rachel Jeffers, MSN, APRN, Nurse Practioner
- Jessica Salwen-Deremer, PhD
- Katrina Hacker, PhD
Additional team members
- Catherine Giguere-Rich, RDN, LD
- Kathleen Cross, RD
Appointments and referrals
Please visit our Appointments and Referrals page for information about making an appointment.