An estimated 4.5 million people in the United States have liver disease. To reduce your risk factors for permanent liver damage and life-threatening liver failure, Christopher Tomaino, MD, offers comprehensive liver care at East Coast Gastroenterology and Endoscopy. The office in Patchogue, New York, has the latest diagnostic technologies to evaluate liver function. Dr. Tomaino uses individualized treatment plans to treat the disease and protect the long-term health of your liver. Call East Coast Gastroenterology and Endoscopy to book a diagnostic evaluation for liver disease or book an appointment online today.

What is liver disease?

Your liver is responsible for assisting with the digestion of food and eliminating toxins from your body. When your liver isn’t functioning as it should, it can lead to life-threatening complications, including liver failure.

There are a number of different types of liver diseases that can affect the organ’s function. Some of the common causes Dr. Tomaino treats include:


Liver cancer begins in the cells of your liver. Cancerous cells can grow quickly and spread to other parts of your body.


Hepatitis describes chronic inflammation in your liver. A variety of factors can cause this inflammation, including viruses (hepatitis A, B, and C), excessive use of alcohol, and eating a lot of fatty foods.


Persistent liver inflammation stimulates your body to produce new cells and the protein collagen to repair the damage. This extra collagen can harden around the tissue and cause fibrosis, a build-up of scar tissue in your liver, which restricts blood flow to the organ.

Mild to moderate fibrosis is treatable and reversible.


Cirrhosis describes severe scarring in your liver that can lead to permanent damage. When fibrosis progresses to an advanced stage, it causes liver damage that your body can’t heal naturally.

While chronic alcohol abuse is a common cause of cirrhosis, you can also develop cirrhosis from other forms of liver disease. There’s no cure for cirrhosis, but Dr. Tomaino can help you manage it to prevent liver failure.

What are the symptoms of liver disease?

Early diagnosis is key to managing liver disease and preventing permanent liver damage, so you should schedule a diagnostic evaluation at East Coast Gastroenterology and Endoscopy if you have symptoms of liver disease, such as:

  • Dark urine
  • Abdominal pain
  • Swelling in your legs or abdomen
  • Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes

An evaluation is also important if you have risk factors for liver disease, such as a family history of the disease or if you abuse alcohol.

How is liver disease diagnosed?

To determine if liver disease or damage is the cause of your symptoms, Dr. Tomaino reviews your personal and family medical history and performs a physical exam. He might order blood work and an ultrasound or other imaging tests to evaluate the health and function of your liver.

In some cases, you might need a biopsy, a minimally invasive procedure to remove a sample of tissue for further testing.

How is liver disease treated?

Your treatment plan for liver disease depends on the results of your testing. In general, you can expect to make lifestyle and dietary changes to prevent the worsening of your condition and permanent liver damage. This might involve:

  • Getting daily exercise
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Not drinking alcohol
  • Maintaining a healthy body weight

You might also need medications to reduce chronic inflammation in your liver or surgery to remove excessive scar tissue.

To find out more about the available treatment options for liver disease, call East Coast Gastroenterology and Endoscopy, or book an appointment online today.

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