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The presence of cysts in the liver is quite common.  Up to 5% of the population has cysts in the liver that are discovered at the time of ultrasound, CAT scanning, or MRI.  Very few patients have symptoms associated with these cysts and are found incidentally.

The cause of the cysts is not known and felt to be congenital in origin.  The cysts in the liver are lined by biliary-type epithelium and may result from progressive dilation of biliary microhamartomas.  The cysts in the liver are fluid-filled with fluid similar to the plasma found in the blood.

A subset of patients will have polycystic liver disease, which is hereditary in nature.  The mutation for this disorder has been identified.  In many cases, individuals that have polycystic liver disease also have polycystic kidney disease.  In polycystic liver disease, numerous cysts develop in the liver.  In this situation, the liver typically is enlarged and with the large number of cysts, there is stretching of the outer capsule of the liver, which may result in pain, bringing this to the attention of both the patient and their physician.  Again in many cases, no specific therapy is warranted though in more extreme cases, it may be recommended that surgery is performed to drain these cysts.  In other cases, liver transplantation may be required.  Patients with polycystic kidney disease likewise may need to be considered for renal transplantation.  It is not unusual for patients to receive both liver and kidney transplant at the same time.

Obesity and Fatty Liver Disease

Obesity, and all of its related complications, is more serious than most adults in America believe. More than one-third (34.9% or 78.6 million) of U.S. adults are obese. Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, and certain types of cancer, are some of the leading causes of preventable death. We are seeing an increase in the number of young children and adolescents developing obesity, and all of the related complications.

The cost of obesity is staggering, with annual medical cost of obesity exceeding $147 billion in 2008 U.S. dollars. The medical costs for people who are obese were $1,429 higher than those of normal weight.

Dr. Galati and the Liver Specialists of Texas team are dedicated to evaluate, treat, and manage all aspects of obesity and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD and NASH), including the complication of cirrhosis and liver failure. Developing a customized plan of care for each patient they see is their objective.

Liver Transplant Resources

Dr. Galati has been involved in Liver Transplantation since 1989. As Medical Director for the Center for Liver Disease and Transplantation at Houston Methodist Hospital, Dr. Galati has cared for thousands of patients with advanced liver disease. In those with the most severe form of advanced liver disease and cirrhosis, liver transplantation is a life-saving surgery. For more information on liver transplantation, click here.

Indications for liver transplant include:

Online LIVER Second Opinion

  • 1

    From the comfort of your home, without the need to spend additional money on travel, lodging, and food, receive and expert second opinion from the expert physicians at Liver Specialists of Texas

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    There are five steps in the process of requesting a second opinion. We anticipate the steps will take you about 30-65 minutes to complete.

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    Have your medical records or those of your loved one on hand as you fill out the medical history questionnaire portion of the online process. The medical history questionnaire is detailed so having medical records to quickly reference will help make the process more efficient.

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    To start the process of an Online Liver Second Opinion, please fill out the initial contact form and fax back to our office. A representative from our office will call you for additional details.