Overview

Expert care for people with cancerous and noncancerous liver issues

Your liver plays a significant role in keeping you healthy.

Digestion and the clotting of your blood depend on it. It’s also essential for energy storage and the removal of toxins from your blood. When your liver’s not working well, your health will suffer.

You can depend on UW Health to provide expert care for all types of liver conditions. We offer advanced imaging, innovative treatments and a team of skilled and caring providers. Whether you’re dealing with a genetic disorder, an infection, cancer or liver failure, we make sure you get the care you need from diagnosis and beyond.

Conditions

What we treat

Many different conditions — cancerous and noncancerous — can affect your liver.

Cancerous liver conditions

  • Bile duct cancer

  • Liver metastases (cancer that spreads to the liver from elsewhere in the body)

  • Primary liver cancer (cancer that starts in the liver)

Benign liver conditions

  • Alcoholic liver disease 

  • Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency 

  • Benign liver tumors

  • Cirrhosis/end-stage liver disease 

  • Hemochromatosis 

  • Hepatitis B 

  • Hepatitis C 

  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

  • Primary biliary cholangitis 

  • Primary sclerosing cholangitis 

  • Wilson’s disease

Treatments and research

Treatments tailored to your needs

Your diagnosis guides your treatment. At UW Health, a team of experts will be involved in your care. Their combined expertise helps you receive individualized therapies that are best for you and your illness.

Treatment for cancer in the liver

If you have cancer, you’ll have all the resources of the UW Carbone Cancer Center to support you. The center is Wisconsin’s only comprehensive cancer center. This designation comes from the National Cancer Institute and speaks to the high level of care we provide.

Specific treatments we offer include:

  • Chemoembolization

  • Cryoablation

  • Hepatic arterial regional chemotherapy

  • Liver resection (removal or a portion of your liver)

  • Liver transplant

  • Microwave ablation

  • Minimally invasive hepatectomy (removal of a portion of your liver)

  • Portal vein embolization

  • Radiation therapy

  • Radiofrequency ablation

  • Two-stage hepatectomy

Learn more about our treatments for liver cancer

Treatment for benign liver conditions

For some noncancerous conditions, we might advise changing your diet, losing weight or avoiding alcohol as a first step. Medication can be an option as well. 

For other conditions, innovative therapies or surgery may be recommended. We offer several minimally invasive procedures. They often result in less pain and have shorter hospital stays than traditional treatments. We find what will work best for you. 

Specific treatments we offer include: 

  • Blood removal 

  • Liver cyst fenestration 

  • Liver resection 

  • Liver transplant

  • Medication

  • Nutrition therapy

Research

Improving treatments for liver disease is an important part of our work at UW Health. We regularly conduct research and clinical trials. These trials help us test new therapies. To learn more, contact the GI and Hepatology Clinical Research Office at (608) 263-4185.

Research also takes place through the UW Carbone Cancer Center. We look for better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat liver cancer. Learn more about our cancer clinical trials

Meet our team

A team approach offers all the expertise you need

At UW Health, hepatologists and gastroenterologists focus on liver health. They might also work with radiologists, pathologists and liver surgeons. Medical oncologists and radiation oncologists often have roles in the care of people with liver cancer.

Gastroenterology and hepatology
Liver cancer
Liver transplant

Locations

Care where you need it

We treat liver conditions at the Digestive Health Center, the UW Carbone Cancer Center, University Hospital, and various clinics in the region.

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  • Digestive Health Center - Gastroenterology and Hepatology Clinic
    • 750 University Row / Madison, WI
    • (608) 890-5000
    • Closed now
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  • 20 S. Park Clinic - Gastroenterology
    • 20 S. Park St. / Madison, WI
    • (608) 890-5000
    • Closed now
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  • UW Carbone Cancer Center
    • 600 Highland Ave. / Madison, WI
    • Closed now
    • The University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center is a pioneer in cancer research and quality patient care. It is the only comprehensive cancer center in Wisconsin, as designated by the National Cancer Institute.

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  • University Hospital - Liver Transplant Clinic
    • 600 Highland Ave. / Madison, WI
    • (608) 262-5420
    • Closed now
    •  
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Patient resources

Information and support to ease your path

We offer a large selection of informational resources and programs to help you deal with liver disease.

Certain liver conditions run in families. Our genetic counselors can help you learn more about your family risk. That will help you make sure those close to you take the right steps to protect their health.

Through UW Health Integrative Health, we offer several services to help you get through your treatment. These include acupuncture, massage therapy, mindfulness-based stress reduction and more.

These resources provide more information about liver cancer prevention and resources we offer patients at UW Health