Penn Medicine gastroenterology and transplant surgery divisions — as well as radiology, pathology and other departments — all work closely together to ensure a seamless experience for patients with liver disease. A highly skilled professional nursing and technical staff further enhances the patient experience and provides the highest standard of care.

Causes of Liver Disease

The liver is the largest organ in the gastrointestinal tract and it performs more than 100 separate functions. Its complexity also makes it susceptible to many different liver diseases. Liver problems can be genetically inherited, occur as a result of disease, or be caused by environmental stressors. Some liver problems are acute and go away on their own, while others become chronic and can lead to serious complications. Left untreated, liver disease can progress over time to liver failure. Liver failure can also occur suddenly when the body is exposed to toxins or poisonous substances that severely compromise liver function.

Common Liver Diseases

  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C
  • Autoimmune hepatitis
  • Long-term/excessive alcohol consumption
  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)
  • Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH)
  • Wilson's disease
  • Hemochromatosis
  • Primary biliary cirrhosis
  • Primary sclerosing cholangitis
  • Cirrhosis
  • Liver cancer
  • Severe malnutrition

Common Causes of Sudden Liver Failure

  • Medication overdose
  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol) overdose
  • Herbal supplement overdose
  • Ingestion of certain poisonous mushrooms
  • Symptoms of Liver Disease

Common Symptoms of Liver Disease

  • Jaundice (yellowish discoloration of the skin and eyes)
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fatigue
  • Chronic itching of the skin
  • Muscle weakness
  • Weight loss
  • Treatment for Liver Disease

In This Section

Treatments and Procedures

Penn Medicine's Department of Gastroenterology offers an array of cutting-edge treatment options for liver disease.

Treatment Team

View a list of Penn Medicine physicians who evaluate, diagnose, and treat liver disease.

Prepare for Your Appointment

Here is what you need to prepare for your appointment with a Penn gastroenterologist.

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