Liver Care Specialist Offers Unique Treatments & Trials - Business

Liver Care Specialist Offers Unique Treatments & Trials

by Alessandra Selgi-Harrigan | Posted: Friday, October 3, 2014 5:24 pm

Dr. Tarek Hassanein is a hepatologist and gastroenterologist with 32 years of practice. He has established six liver centers in Southern California and has made Coronado a hub at Sharp Coronado Hospital. This world renowned physician, who has lectured all over the world, has an office in the medical building next to Sharp Hospital and he offers his services to patients in the hospital as well clinical trials.  

Dr. Hassanein is the medical director of his practice and he and his other liver care specialists provide treatments for various conditions including cirrhosis, genetic and metabolic liver diseases, liver cancer and hepatitis. In addition to the services he offers at the hospital he is also conducting clinical trials in Coronado for new drug therapies for liver disease.

Hassanein was a professor at UCSD and chief hepatologist and liver transplantation until 2009. “At that time I decided to establish a liver center in Southern California,” he said. Aside from Coronado, he has offices in Chula Vista, El Cajon, Riverside and Orange County and Palm Springs. “We have outpatient centers but we made our hub in Coronado and we work with Sharp Coronado. To be the hub you need to be uniquely trained and situated and a have a philosophy on how to manage patients with advanced liver disease,” he said. 

Hassanein said the skillful personnel at the hospital which include doctors, nurses, lab technician and radiologists all help his patients receive the best care.  Hassanein’s practice has established a close relationships with UCSD and Scripps Clinic where  patients get transplants. Hassanein works with the patients to get them ready once the time for transplant comes. 

“We attract new technology to help patients with liver disease and liver failure to keep them alive and stabilized for their liver to recover for a transplant. Two of those technologies are available in Coronado and not available at any other hospital together: the MARS device which is FDA approved (MARS stands for molecular adsorbent recirculating system) and we’re conducting clinical trials with a bio artificial liver which supports the liver to recover when it’s failing.

“We are also conducting  a number of other clinical trials using new medication to support patients with liver failure until it regenerates or they get a transplant,” he said. 

Hassanein’s practice also deals with complicated gastrointestinal diseases and it’s a pancreatic biliary center. The new equipment at the hospital allows Hassanein to service those patients with a high level of care only available at big academic centers. Hassanein believes the specific programs like physical therapy and nutrition at the hospital are essential to liver patients. “These programs are not always available at other places not to the standard that we have. The hospital has developed a well equipped gastrointestinal and endoscopic center and that facilitates care with cutting edge technology,” he said.

“Our goal is to develop Sharp as a hub for advanced liver disease, liver cancer, pancreatic and biliary diseases. We’re uniquely situated in Coronado not only for local and national patients but also for international patients,” said Hassanein. He has in fact seen patients come to Coronado from Germany, Italy, the Middle East and England.

Hassanein graduated from the University of Alexandria, Egypt received training at the University of Pittsburgh and Wayne State University in Detroit. He was the medical director of pathology and liver transplantation at Loma Linda in 1995 and director of UCSD. He is an international expert in liver disease and hepatitis C. His center in Coronado was one of the research centers that developed a drug for Hepatitis C that achieves a cure in 97 percent of the patients. Hassanein’s center was mentioned in the New England Medical Journal as a site where the studies were done. 

Hassanein lectures worldwide and he is a consultant to a number of companies and governments in the field of liver disease. He has published over 120 peer reviewed papers and performed over 300 clinical trials. His medical group includes 27 staff members with three physicians, six nurse practitioners and six research coordinators.

“Within the next two years our goal is to have one of the most sophisticated digestive disease centers which deals with different chronic gastrointestinal and liver conditions.

Hassanein will hold a lecture on Liver Treatment on Thursday, October 9, 2014

from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. in the Sandermann Education Center, 265 Soledad Place. For registrations call 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277).

Hassanein can be reached at 230 Prospect Place Suite 220. Call (619) 522-0399.