I haven't, for various reasons, been on here for a while, and I've been helped quite a bit in the past, so that makes me me feel pretty bad about staying away. Anyway, I'm here again now, and thought I bring you up-to-date with all the latest happenings regarding my suspected liver problems.
Briefly, and for those who don't know me from here from my previous postings, i've had discomfort and soreness in my upper right quadrant on and off for most of the past year now, and I have previously posted on here regarding this. Most of these postings were under a thread entitled "Am I already beyond help with my liver problems?", and quite a number of people have been kind enough to try to help me and give me advice.
For those who haven't read the posts, the investigations carried out by my GP have so far included liver-function test, an ultrasound scan, and then a CT scan. These, with the exception of the ultrasound scan, which showed up a very slight and short 'fatty chain' in my liver, have largely proved negative, but with the discomfort discontinuing my GP then referred me to a liver specialist.
I should have seen the specialist a month ago, but had to cancel, and my appointment will now be taking place tomorrow. I'm very anxious about this, and don't know what to expect, and wondered if anyone could advise me as to what might be likely to happen. For example, are they likely to do any more blood tests, or might they might they do a liver biopsy? And if they suddenly found liver cancer or cirrhosis, neither of which are shown up at all in any way so far, would they keep me in and operate?
As well as being nervous and very anxious about going there, I simply have no idea what they might do, so any help or advice that you could give me would be very, very helpful, and would go a long way to easing my worries.
Thank you in advance for any help you can give me here.
Hi Graham, I cant answer many of your questions but I can tell you my experiance, I went to see a Hepatologist a while ago as I was (and still am) having the same symptoms as you. I cant remember your bull list of symptoms but mine is liver pain, pins and needles, itchiness, etc etc. He said I DO NOT have liver disease but he did not examine me at all. I had to beg him to do more bloods which all came back normal (and are still normal)
I think if you ask they will do more bloods. I had already had a Fibroscan done through the Liver Trust which I told him about, he said he would have referred me for one of those if I hadnt already had one done.
I am nearly 100% sure they will not do a biosy, you would need to know in advance if they were doing that I think.
Please try not to worry, what sort of specialist are you seeing and what time is your appointment?
Hello again, Sunflower, and thank you for your reply...
The letter I received just gave the consultants name and said I'd be seeing 'members of his team', which is very similar to the standard phrasing we use in the clinic that I work in, too.
Regarding your own diagnosis; I'm really pleased to hear that they'd told you that you don't have liver disease, but how did they work that out so quickly if, as you seem to suggest, they merely deduced that just on the basis of one visit?
I'd be really interested to hear a little more on that, and also on what form the consultation took with regards to questions they asked, and what further tests they did beyond the bloods.
Hello again, Sunflower
Just another question whilst we're on; What, exactly is a Fibroscan, and how is it conducted? Does there have to be a GP referral for this, or is it something the hospitals can/will do as a standard investigative procedure?
I don't know the details but I've been told you can book a Fibroscan at one of the British Liver Trust roadshows. I'd check out when they are. However, if you've got worries about your liver, especially if you fall between diagnoses, I think you should ask to be referred for one. When I was told I had antimitochondrial antibodies (serious indicator of PBC) I was just given blood tests (esp liver function tests - which were, and still are, perfectly normal) physical examn. and an ultrasound. Although they are less keen to offer biopsies, I think I would now also be offered a fibroscan and maybe an MRCP scan. They can do all this, and more, so if you are worried - ask.