Finding the right specialist for PBC

Whether you are in search of a diagnosis or have already been diagnosed with primary biliary cholangitis (PBC), there are benefits to working with liver specialists as part of your healthcare team. They have the training and resources to diagnose PBC, are likely to be familiar with treatment options and management techniques, may know of ongoing studies for PBC, and are more likely than primary care physicians to have managed or seen other cases of PBC.

Gastroenterologists and hepatologists are 2 types of specialists who work with people living with PBC.

  • Gastroenterologist
    • Manages diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, including the stomach, intestines, liver, pancreas, and gallbladder
    • A referral to a gastroenterologist would likely come from a primary care physician
    • A gastroenterologist will perform a clinical examination and may run tests, including liver panel tests
  • Hepatologist
    • Specifically manages conditions of the liver
    • A referral to a hepatologist may come from a primary care physician, gastroenterologist, or another specialist
    • A hepatologist may perform a liver biopsy, if needed, in addition to clinical examination and other liver tests

Both gastroenterologists and hepatologists have the skills to recognize and treat PBC, but it’s important to also find a healthcare team that makes you feel comfortable and cared for. Remember that you are the best advocate for your health.

Making the most of your appointment time

Once you’ve found your healthcare team, it’s important to make sure you’re getting your questions answered and using your time with them wisely. In this video, Dr. Jennifer Pate, Chief of Psychiatry at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center, offers some tips for maximizing every visit.

Living successfully with PBC: A chat with the PBC collaborative

This previously recorded Facebook event features a panel of women who are living with PBC discussing topics such as establishing a trusting relationship with your healthcare team.

Get ready for your next healthcare provider visit by preparing your questions ahead of time.

Download discussion guide

Learn about PBC treatment

All participating parties, including patients, physicians, and experts, were compensated by ICPT.


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