About the Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary System

The hepato-pancreato-biliary system is made up of the liver, its bile duct and the pancreas. The liver is a rather large organ, and it sits under the ribs on your right side. It is divided into a right and left lobe. This organ is essential and has many functions within the body including the creation of bile which helps digestion. Additionally, it helps break down the food we eat and stores it as sugar. The liver makes substances that allow blood to clot. Finally, the liver serves as the major organ to process and filter medications and toxins. Of note, the liver is also the only organ that can partially grow back after cutting part of it out.

The biliary system is made up of the bile ducts and the gallbladder. The bile ducts carry bile from the liver to the small intestine. The gallbladder stores the bile until you eat at which point it is released from the gallbladder to help you digest the fats in the food. The bile ducts can be divided into those inside the liver (intrahepatic), outside the liver (extrahepatic) and right where the duct comes out of the liver (hilar).

The pancreas is an organ that sits in the upper abdomen, behind the stomach and the colon. It has two main functions. The first job of the pancreas is to make insulin which helps control the body’s sugars. This is called the “endocrine” function. The second job of the pancreas, called the “exocrine” function, is to make enzymes which help with digestion.

What We Offer

Liver, pancreas and biliary procedures performed, and illnesses treated include:

  • Laparoscopic and open liver surgery

Primary liver cancer, bile duct cancer, gallbladder cancer, and metastatic cancer to the liver (colon, neuroendocrine, and other), Benign tumors (adenoma, hemangioma), and Cysts (simple, complex and hydatid)

  • Laparoscopic and open pancreas surgery (Whipple, body or tail of pancreas, Cyst marsupialization, Puestow Procedure)
  • Laparoscopic and open Bile duct surgery and reconstruction

Bile duct cancer, injury, stricture, bile duct cyst

  • Local Regional Therapy of Cancers in the Liver

Yttrium-90 Selective Internal Radiation, Microwave Ablation, Hepatic Artery embolization

  • Advanced Liver Disease Care (Hepatology)

Complications of advanced cirrhosis, portal hypertension and liver cancer screening

  • Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS) or Surgical Shunt

Complications of portal hypertension (bleeding and/or ascites)

  • Liver Transplant Evaluation

Patients can have their liver transplant evaluation performed locally, have their information compiled and sent with them to a transplant center.

  • ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography)

A procedure used to diagnose and treat problems in the liver, gallbladder, bile ducts, and pancreas by combining use of an endoscope and x-ray

  • Cholangioscopy

A procedure that uses small endoscopes to directly visualize the bile ducts

  • Pancreatoscopy

A procedure that uses small endoscope to directly visualize the pancreatic ducts

  • EUS (endoscopic ultrasound)

A procedure using an ultrasound at the end of an endoscope to diagnose cancers in the bile ducts and pancreas

Our Team

A Multi-Disciplinary Approach

The care of patients with Liver, Pancreas and Bile Duct disease requires multiple disciplines. To make sure our patients have the best outcomes, each patient’s case is discussed among our team of dedicated physicians at weekly conferences. Our team includes a Liver, Pancreas and Biliary Surgery, Hepatology, Interventional Endoscopy, Interventional Radiology, Gastroenterology, Medical Oncology, Radiation Oncology, and an expert Radiologist in body imaging.
Andrew de la Torre was born and raised in the Bronx. He attended New York City Public Schools, and graduated from Queens College. He received his Medical Degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in 1989, and completed his general surgical residency at the New Jersey Medical School, University Hospital in 1995. He then completed a kidney/pancreas transplant fellowship at the University of Maryland and liver transplant fellowship at the New Jersey Medical School. He was a liver transplant Surgeon from 1999-2010, where performed hundreds of complex liver, pancreas, and bile duct surgeries. Dr. de la Torre has been performing major liver pancreas and bile duct resections laparoscopically since 2007. Dr. de la Torre started and led the liver program at St Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson, New Jersey from 2012-2017, and has been the Director of Liver, Pancreas, and Bile duct surgery, and Liver Disease Services at Carepoint Health since 2019. Dr. de la Torre is on the Medical Advisory Board of the New York/New Jersey Chapter of the American Liver Foundation since 2013, and a Fellow of the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease since 2020. Dr. de la Torre has authored and co-authored numerous publications in basic science, clinical science, and population health, and has been principal investigator on numerous clinical trials in liver and pancreas oncology, and hepatology. Dr. de la Torre is a specialist in population health using smart algorithms within electronic health record systems combined with patient navigation, and has received multiple grants to improve early diagnosis of liver disease, and cancers of the liver, colon, and lung.
Jennifer Hsieh is an advanced endoscopy gastroenterologist. She specializes in advanced diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopic procedures, including endoscopic ultrasound (EUS), fine needle aspiration (FNA), endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), endoluminal stent placement (esophagus, gastroduodenal, colonic), cholangioscopy, endoscopic mucosal resection, radiofrequency ablation (RFA), and complex polypectomy. Her clinical interests focus on pancreatic and biliary diseases, as well as general colon cancer screening. Dr. Hsieh received her undergraduate degree from Johns Hopkins University, and her medical degree from Albert Einstein School of Medicine. She completed her internal medicine training at Montefiore Medical Center, gastroenterology fellowship at Stonybrook University Hospital and an additional year of fellowship in advanced endoscopic procedures at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.