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Hepatobiliary Surgery - Pfleger Liver Institute

Frequently asked questions


Indications & Contraindications

Description of Clinical Program
The Pfleger Liver Institute offers comprehensive care for all diseases of the liver and biliary tract, and we perform a range of procedures from cholecystectomy to liver transplantation. Our team of physicians, nurses, paramedical personnel and research scientists is dedicated to providing the latest diagnostic and therapeutic approaches.

Our multidisciplinary team includes specialists in hepatology, radiology (interventional and diagnostic), and pathology. Our surgical team includes surgeons, anesthesiologists, and nurses who specialize in liver operations and perioperative care. This team also staffs the Dumont-UCLA Liver Transplant Center, the largest liver transplant center in the world, as well as the Dumont-UCLA Liver Cancer Center.

Patient Evaluation
Patients referred to the Pfleger Liver Institute are evaluated in the Hepatobiliary Clinic, where outpatient visits are held once a week. The clinic is located at 200 UCLA Medical Plaza, across the street from the main UCLA Medical Center. In more urgent cases, patients can be transferred to UCLA Medical Center at any time, 24 hours per day.
During the first consultation, our physicians will examine the patient and discuss plans for further evaluation and follow-up. Following the consultation, the case will be discussed with the referring physician in order to formulate an individualized treatment strategy.
Subsequent diagnostic testing can be arranged either at the center from which the patient was referred or at UCLA Medical Center, depending on the nature of the examination and the preferences of the referring physician and patient. Depending upon the patient's functional status and treatment plan, preoperative evaluations by consulting physicians may be arranged either at the referring center or at UCLA Medical Center.

Role of the Referring Physician
Each referring physician will be contacted by phone following the initial patient evaluation and will receive a written consultation by a faculty member. If additional tests are required and then obtained at UCLA Medical Center, these results also will be forwarded to the referring physician.
Throughout the patient's evaluation and treatment at UCLA, the referring physician remains the primary physician and may request the collaboration of our faculty and staff to any degree desired. Referring physician and case managers will be updated frequently on the patient's status and progress.
While most patients will require followup, it is the referring physician who will decide where these activities should take place. Our faculty and staff are available to serve as consultants at any time.

Referral Guidelines
All patients with hepatobiliary diseases are candidates for referral. Common indications include:

  • - Gallstone diseases
  • - Biliary tract injuries and strictures, including problems related to laparoscopic cholecystectomy
  • - Ascites (diagnostic and therapeutic approaches)

How to Refer a Patient
Physicians may refer patients by calling (310) 825-5318. Our staff will obtain initial information during this conversation and will schedule an appointment for the patient. Faculty members or our clinical nurse coordinator will then contact the referring physician or case manager to exchange additional information and to make any special arrangements prior to the patient's evaluation.
All outpatients will be scheduled immediately for evaluation and will be seen within seven days of the initial referral. We will accept hospitalized patients for transfer with priority given to the most urgent cases. Emergency or urgent transfers can be arranged 24 hours a day by calling (310) 825-5318 and requesting the liver nurse coordinator on call.

Liver and Pancreas

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