The Liver Center
Rapid, Accurate and Responsive Diagnosis and Treatment
Liver Center (Hepatology)
The Liver Center at Nationwide Children’s Hospital is an integral part of the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, caring for a wide range of liver diseases through medical management and surgery.
If your child has a medical issue related to the liver, gallbladder and/or pancreas, they will be treated by the experts on the Liver Center team. This dedicated group of physicians, nurses and other professionals provides a range of specialized inpatient and outpatient services for children with inherited or acquired conditions. Liver problems can be life-threatening and life-changing. Quick evaluation, correct diagnosis and early treatment can impact long-term health, so the Liver Center physicians are committed to seeing all outpatient referrals within 48 hours.
Our Continuum of Care
Many liver conditions can start at birth and continue through childhood. Others may be acquired later in life through an infection or a reaction to a drug. The Liver Center team is structured to provide continuity of care as a child transitions from inpatient to outpatient management and pediatric to adult care, helping ensure the very best outcomes.
Babies in the NICU are paired with one physician team member while they are at the hospital. Once the babies are discharged, the same physician will provide follow-up care on an outpatient basis.
Inpatient Consult Services
Every day, the Liver Center team evaluates children who are in the hospital for other medical reasons, but may show signs of having liver issues. They coordinate inpatient care with the other medical teams, and if necessary, will continue to see the child on an outpatient basis.
The team of physicians, nurses and dietitians regularly sees children with chronic liver disease and other related issues in the outpatient clinic. Children with liver disease often have challenges with growth and take many types of medications. Staff work closely with families to educate them about their child’s nutritional and medicinal needs.
As the nation’s childhood obesity epidemic continues, one of the most common issues the Liver Center treats is non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The team works closely with health care professionals in the Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition to monitor and manage fatty liver disease as children undergo weight reduction treatments. Complications from untreated fatty liver disease can lead to permanent scarring and the need for a liver transplant.
The Liver Transplant Program is a part of a multi-organ transplant center at Nationwide Children's Hospital. Led by Ken Washburn, MD, chief of Abdominal Transplant Surgery, the Liver Transplant Program utilizes a multidisciplinary team of experts including hepatologists, transplant surgeons, nurses, dietitians and social workers.
The comprehensive team of physicians, nurses, social workers, pharmacists and dietitians has extensive experience in helping families navigate the practical, emotional and financial aspects of caring for a child with liver disease and related conditions – including pre- and post-liver transplant care.
Liver Center physicians collaborate with other scientists around the nation to evaluate the impact of new treatments for liver diseases like hepatitis C – and the impact of other types of medications on liver health. Learn more about current research studies or participating in a clinical trial.
Conditions We Treat
- Alagille Syndrome
- Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency
- Biliary Atresia
- Glycogen Storage Disease
- Hepatitis A, B and C
- Metabolic Disorders
- Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)
- Pre- and Post-Liver Transplant Patients
- Rare Disorders of Bile Acid Synthesis and Transport
- Synthetic and Transport Defects
- Wilson's Disease