Meet Dr. Lafaine GrantLiver Disease Specialist in Dallas
As a transplant hepatologist with specialized training in both liver disease and liver transplantation, Lafaine Grant, M.D., treats patients with all types of liver disease.
Dr. Grant joined UT Southwestern Medical Center in 2007 to help form the Liver Transplant Program, where she works with people who are candidates for – or who have already received – a liver transplant.
An Evolving Field
Dr. Grant says that the certain types of liver disease are becoming less of a problem for patients – for example, hepatitis C, which is now highly treatable – while others are growing much more problematic.
“My patient population reflects the general population at large,” she explains, “and the majority have liver injury from alcohol or viral hepatitis. There are also a good number of patients who have autoimmune liver disease or drug-induced liver injury, and an increasing number are being seen for fatty liver.”
Most liver diseases require careful management or treatment in order to prevent serious complications, Dr. Grant says.
“Chronic liver disease can cause extensive scarring of the liver, which is what we call cirrhosis,” she says. “Any patient with cirrhosis can then have complications of cirrhosis, and when that occurs, the patient is considered for liver transplant.”
For patients who do require a transplant, UT Southwestern’s Liver Transplant Program produces three-year survival rates that are above the national average.
A Reason to Hope
For Dr. Grant, liver disease represents a complex challenge, as well as an opportunity to help patients with potentially life-threatening conditions.
“Liver disease affects the entire body, so it can be challenging to manage, but that gives me an opportunity to develop long-term relationships with patients,” she says.
Dr. Grant adds that she strives to put herself in her patients’ shoes throughout their treatment journey.
“If I can appreciate it from that perspective, then I think I can do a better job of helping my patients through the process,” she says. “I want to understand how it affects their lives and then help them through that journey.
“I always remember to reassure my patients that the liver is really quite resilient, and we have options for managing their disease.”