What you need to know about fatty liver disease – Times News Online

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Posted on September 21, 2021 at 12:58 p.m.

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is the second leading cause of liver cancer, according to Dr. Ahmed Hasan, gastroenterologist at Lehigh Gastroenterology Associates in Lehighton.

Some patients with NAFLD will develop elevated liver enzymes, which indicates that there is inflammation in the liver. This inflammation can cause fibrosis, which can progress to cirrhosis and liver cancer.

In an effort to stop the disease before it got worse, Hasan started a weight loss program in his doctor’s office because losing weight is the only way to reduce NAFLD.

For his patients who have elevated liver enzymes and more extensive liver damage, Hasan works with Dr. Kenneth Rothstein, gastroenterologist at Penn Medicine, a hospital at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. He is director of regional extension and regional hepatology, as well as professor of clinical medicine. Rothstein goes to Lehighton once a month to see patients. If a liver transplant is needed, the surgery is performed in Philadelphia.

Rothstein said most liver transplants are done through living donors, as liver transplants are no longer at the top of the transplant list. For those who receive a transplant, the prognosis is very good.

“They are likely to live 35 years,” he said with the transplant.

The donor must be in good health, non-diabetic or overweight, and must not be over 50 years of age. And he or she cannot have NAFLD, because healthy livers will accept the transplant while fatty livers usually do not.

Rothstein said that by helping people lose weight, “we’re saving a lot of lives.”

Dr Kenneth Rothstein

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