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Northland DHB Liver Service

Public Service


The Northland District Health Board Liver Service deals with disorders of the liver.
The liver is roughly the size of a football and is on your right side just under your ribs. It stores vitamins, sugar and iron which are used by cells in the body for energy. It clears the body of waste products and drugs. It produces substances that are used to help blood clot and aid the immune system, and produces bile which aids in digestion.


Referral Expectations

Your GP will refer you to our Department if they are concerned that you have problems that require a specialist opinion regarding the diagnosis or treatment of the condition. 
Waiting times for clinics range from 1-12 months depending on urgency, which is assessed from the letter we receive from your GP.

Before coming to our clinic, you may be asked to undergo further tests such as blood tests, urine tests or X-rays. This will help determine how quickly you need to be seen and ensure you get as many answers as possible when you are seen. It is important that you have any tests done promptly to reduce delays in being seen at the liver clinic.

Clinic appointments typically last 40 minutes for the first visit and 15-20 minutes for subsequent visits.  A history of your symptoms will be taken and you will undergo a physical examination. Please bring any medications that you are taking with you.

Northland District Health Board is a training facility, so you may be seen initially by a trainee specialist (Registrar) or trainee doctor (Medical Student). In these situations, you will also generally be seen by the consultant and the liver nurse specialist.

You may be referred for some of the following radiology tests, depending on your condition: ultrasound scan, CT scan or MRI. You may also be asked to come back at a later date for a liver biopsy.

Common Conditions / Procedures / Treatments

  • Hepatitis

    This is inflammation of the liver, commonly caused by viruses.  Hepatitis B and C are viruses that can cause chronic (long term) inflammation and damage to the liver.… More

  • Cirrhosis

    Cirrhosis is the term used to describe a diseased liver that has been badly scarred, usually due to many years of injury.… More

  • Haemochromatosis

    Haemochromatosis is a common inherited disorder where the body absorbs and stores too much iron.… More PDF

  • Other Liver Diseases

    There are many other causes of liver disorders. The most common are:… More

  • Liver Biopsy

    The best way to establish what type of liver disease is present and the extent of the disease, is a biopsy.… More PDF

Contact Details

Whangarei Hospital


Sandra Meyst - Hepatitis Clinical Nurse Specialist: (09) 430 4100 ext 7724

Whangarei Hospital
2 Hospital Road

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Street Address

Whangarei Hospital
2 Hospital Road

Postal Address

Whangarei Hospital
Private Bag 9742
Whangarei 0148

This page was last updated at 3:33PM on June 12, 2018. This information is reviewed and edited by Northland DHB Liver Service.