Samitivej Hospital The Liver and Digestive Institute

Across the world, deaths due to heart disease and most cancers are, thankfully, on the decline. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the numbers of deaths due to liver disease. Recent figures from the British Liver Trust show the astonishing reality. Since 1970, deaths directly attributed to liver disease have risen by 400%. 

The majority of liver disease cases are alcohol induced, now exceeding 60% of all instances of liver health issues. The second greatest cause of live disease is obesity. Non-alcohol related fatty liver disease, commonly referred to as NAFLD, is now in excess of 10% of all liver disease cases. The more advanced form of NAFLD, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, or NASH, is also on the increase. 

Other substance abuse has also had a major impact on the growing figures. Diagnosed numbers of chronic cases of hepatitis B and C have risen dramatically, and it is estimated that a further 40-50% are undiagnosed. Around 90% of hepatitis cases are directly attributed to substance abuse. 

In the West, although many forms of cancer deaths are falling, deaths from liver cancer is now the fastest growing cause of death by cancer. Hepatocellular carcinoma is the most common form of liver cancer, and cases have risen by 66% since the mid-1990s. It is now estimated that liver cancer deaths will exceed the number of deaths from heart disease within a decade.

A Dedicated Liver and Digestive Institute

Although figures from around the world may seem depressing, there can a brighter outlook for sufferers of liver and gastrointestinal (GI) health issues. Samitivej Hospital’s dedicated Liver and Digestive Institute has been bucking the trend of liver and GI health related deaths with impressive diagnostics and treatments, this has led to enviable levels of success.

This modern institute specializes in addressing all liver conditions, and in addition to those, pancreatic, gastrointestinal and gallbladder diseases, and related conditions, are addressed. From gallstones to cirrhosis, hepatitis to constipation, the institutes liver and GI services are all-encompassing. 

Liver and Digestive Institute Diagnostics

The key to effective treatment is thorough, efficient and detailed diagnostics. Precision diagnostics help to achieve precision methodology and precisely targeted treatment plans. It is by adhering to this mantra that the institute has achieved its impressive rates of success. Cutting edge technology plays a vital part in the institutes diagnostics, which include:

Imagery diagnostics are utilized via X-ray, MRI, CT scan and ultrasound, the institute also employs transient elastography (FibroScan) which is a non-invasive hepatic fibrosis procedure which measures liver rigidity which can negatively affect liver function. 

The institute employs endoscopic analysis as an essential tool in diagnosing various disorders, such as gastrointestinal tumors and bile duct disorders. Endoscopic analysis is further enhanced in the diagnosis of colon cancer by employing the narrow band imaging (NBI) technique. This advanced digital optical technique vastly improves the visualization of mucosal surfaces and microvascular patterns which help to close down on precise diagnostics.

Other diagnostic techniques employed by the institute include. 24-hour impedance monitoring, capsule endoscopy and percutaneous liver biopsy. With a percutaneous liver biopsy, a long needle is used to pierce the subcutaneous skin tissue and the peritoneum, this allows access to the liver where a tissue sample can be extracted for laboratory analysis.

Liver and Digestive Institute Treatment

There are no more advanced treatment techniques than those employed by Samitivej Hospital’s Liver and Digestive Institute. No expense has been spared in ensuring that the institute has the very best state of the art equipment to ensure each patient can enjoy the maximum possibility of treatment success. 

Treatments are many and varied and are tailored individually to each patient. The advanced treatment techniques may include: Percutaneous ethanol injection, or (PEI). This can be used as part of a patient’s liver cancer treatment plan, as can radiofrequency ablation, or RFA. 

As part of the treatment for acute liver and digestive system bleeding, transarterial embolization may be employed. The institutes team may also utilize transarterial oily chemoembolization as part of the treatment plan for hepatocellular carcinoma.

In addition to conventional surgical techniques to treat digestive, bile duct and liver disorders, radiofrequency ablation (RFA), sometimes referred to as fulguration, can be employed. This is a minimally invasive procedure which utilizes a precision delivered electric current which creates heat to destroy damaged or infected tissues.

A laparoscopic colectomy may be the preferred treatment for patients with colon cancer. This procedure is minimally invasive, with several small incisions in the abdomen the surgeon can access the large intestine for a partial segmented resection. In more extreme cases a complete removal can be undertaken using this surgical method.

Targeted therapy is an important part of any cancer treatment plan. The term refers to the use of drugs as part of a patient’s treatment. Drugs such as monoclonal antibodies, are able to target and attack specific cells which are cancerous. Certain forms of cancer can be very responsive to targeted therapy, but it would only one element of a patient’s treatment plan.

Liver and Digestive Institute Team

Having the most advanced tools and technology is, in itself, not enough. The practicing team have to be equal to it. The team of professionals at Samitivej’s Liver and Digestive Institute is second to none. Each individual is trained to the ultimate level, whilst continuing to push the boundaries of knowledge and practice.

As part of their own pledge to ensuring that their service and success remains at the apex of treatment choices, each patient is assigned a personal nursing assistant, (PNA). In having a PNA, each patient knows that there is always a professional close by to aid and advise. The patient PNA relationship builds on trust and reliance into a unique friendship which reduces patient stress and aids recovery.

The Institutes Treatment for All

The Liver and Digestive Institute truly is a cosmopolitan medical facility. The world class team treat indigenous nationals and patients from across the globe. Samitivej Hospital treats up to 400 Japanese patients every day. No other private medical establishment outside of Japan treats more patients.

Patients from across the world seek out the exemplary, caring environment offered by Samitivej Hospital for their medical treatment. Multi-lingual staff make the experience for overseas visitors accommodating and stress free, important factors in a patient’s treatment and recovery. In the unlikely event of there being a language issue, Samitivej Hospital have at hand qualified translators. 

Nowhere is better placed to diagnose and treat liver and GI health issues than Samitivej Hospital’s dedicated Liver and Digestive Institute. Technology, skills and personalized care meld within the institute to deliver the ultimate in patient care to all. 

Leave a Comment