The hepatologist is considered to be a medical specialist who is qualified enough to diagnose and treat various types of disorders taking place in the biliary tree, gallbladder, pancreas and the liver. It is rather a gastroenterology sub-specialty, which helps to study and analyse the entire digestive system. Hepatitis is considered to be among the primary medical reasons for patients to seek advice from the qualified and knowledgeable hepatologist associated with the Best Hepatologist hospital in India. Patients may even be referred to for other causes like drug over dosage where liver gets affected like paracetamol overdose; alcoholic cirrhosis, liver cancers and pancreatitis related issues.
If no board certification exists separately for the hepatologist, then it is necessary for the professional to complete 2 year fellowship with emphasis made on liver diseases. Majority of the gastroenterologists are board certified and others simply are physicians having completed successfully hepatology and gastroenterology fellowships. The gastroenterologists who have been certified do receive special recognition in the form of a suffix that follows their name.
Selecting the best Gastroenterologist or Hepatologist
In case, the person suffers from hepatitis C, then the hepatologist is likely to be the best option available to visit instead of consulting the gastroenterologist. The hepatologist is likely to have more access to the latest and most advanced treatment options available currently to recommend to patients, depending upon their issues. It also includes experimental therapies. The gastroenterologist on the other hand is well practiced, experienced and knowledgeable on hepatitis C and can provide proper treatment also.
On receipt of referrals, the selection needs to be based upon few aspects like the patient being comfortable enough with the doctor and can discuss about the problems experienced in details without any hassle. It also includes honest and complete exchange of all information between the patient and the physician as well as the capability recovers properly and quickly from the ailment suffered.
Proper advice should be sought from the specialists if the person is co-infected with HIV and hepatitis C. as co-infection is found to be of very high rate, higher by about 20% or even more in few countries, several HIV specialists nowadays are adequately trained to provide hepatitis C therapies. They also may have the ability to monitor the treatment offered to both the diseases.
Gastroenterologists and hepatologists, by contrast generally are not known to have necessary specialist acumen for managing or treating HIV. There are several questions which need to be asked to the specialist upon meeting, so as to better ascertain the qualities and skills of the physician and to ensure selecting the right one to derive the very best treatment possible. Few questions to ask the specialists are given below:
Experience and duration of the physician in practicing hepatitis C.
Specific board certifications obtained.
Does the practice need upfront payment or delayed payment is acceptable from the patient’s insurance provider?
What polices are there with regards to prescription renewals or phone consultations?
Duration for the physician or the staffs to return back the phone calls to provide details on enquiries.
When exactly to make the appointment?
What to expect from the hepatologist?
The hepatologist deals with diseases and conditions arising in the liver. The first visit is likely to include review of the current and past medical history of the patient. Carrying along prescription medication list that is being currently taken including the dosage will be necessary. Relevant medical records in possession also are to be brought along to show the specialist.
During the first visit, the patients are suggested blood test including general physical evaluation. If liver conditions get suspected, then evaluation will be required of the digestive system including colonoscopy and upper endoscopy.
Such tests could also be suggested on subsequent visits, which may either be carried out directly by the specialists at their office or be referred to the best hepatology hospital in India. The results of the primary blood tests will determine the next appointment schedule, to know the situation and what course of treatment is to be undertaken. It will be wise to consult a good specialist who has been practicing in this particular field for a long time and offers successful results and quicker recovery.