nodules on the liver

Hi everyone. Found out on my latest doppler scan that I have nodules on the liver. I have cirhossis which is progressing as it does and also my spleen has enlarged lots since my last ultrasound. I only know about nodules when famous singers have them in their larynx and they are not allowed to sing for a long time and sometimes need surgery and rest their voices. I stopped googling such things a long time ago.

Waiting for hepatologist appointment regarding this but will have to wait for the postman. Has anyone else had nodules shown up and should I be scared because Im actually quite worried. I dont even know the difference between polyps and nodules. What on earth am I dealing with.



22 Replies

  • Yes i have v. Enlarged spleen nodules in liver and spleen which then meant ct or mri cant remember which .then the other test on lungs as they found some there!!!apparently nothing sinister so now they are ignoring all of its just to do with scarring apparently...ive given up getting worked ip about any of if now as i just think what will be will be! I have grade 2varices which i have to say seems a bit scary.good luck.

  • Hi, my varicies were grade 2/3 where the windpipe and the stomach meet at junction so a tricky place to have them. I was scared like you but mine were dealt with by banding during endoscopy. I had 6 done this year. First four in May, then while having a checkup after they found 2 more grade 2/3 and banded those in September. Recent scan didnt find any more Im not sure if ultrasound show them up or not. Will have to have a check up on the last banding at clinic via endoscopy - not pleasant.

    Sorry I didnt mention your comment about your varicies as I was looking at your situation with enlarged spleen and nodules. I was scared with my varicies but they are dealt with for now. Forgot to wish you good luck too.


  • Nodules are lumps and bumps found on a cirrhotic liver. As they are benign docs don't usually worry about them. It's the malignant lumps and bumps that concern them.

    Have they described them in "medspeak" as Focal nodule hyperplasia.

  • Hi Bolly, thanks for reply. Will get the medspeak when I see the hepatologist. I mentioned to Ralph that they might want to do a biopsy? Will have to wait and see. Hope you are keeping well.

    julie x

  • They usually only do a biopsy for diagnosing the cause of the liver disease as its invasive, uncomfortable and not without risk. Am I right in thinking the docs know the history of your liver disease already? If so then a biopsy is not necessary, an MRI is able to diagnose the difference between cysts, nodules, lesions, tumours etc with reasonable accuracy without having to stick a needle into a lump or bump. The last thing your want is a needle stuck into something malignant as it would seed cancer cells round your body. Nodules are benign I believe.

  • Thanks for that. They should know the history so glad a biopsy won't be necessary. I just wondered about the nodules and if they could be sinister. I have had that many cysts removed over the years - 2 requiring a general aneasthetic that I panic if 'things' are found. Havent had an MRI, just a CT on my colon and 3 ultrasounds as an outpatient since first liver failure in 2010. Thanks for the reassurance.


  • You would benefit from an MRI if you want to be reassured the nodules are nodules and not something else. A CT of your colon and liver ultrasounds are not the way doctors diagnose the difference between nodules, cysts, lesions etc and the dreaded HCC.

  • Thanks for that. Im so naive - what does HCC stand for? I can only wait now until my hepatologist sends for me. He might see me earlier after seeing latest Doppler scan report or just wait until Im due which will be mid end november. It was the CT of the colon as I was having bowel problems that showed up varacies - a fluke - otherwise noone would have known I had them which have now been treated. God knows what would have happened if the varicies had'nt been spotted by accident.

  • Nodules visible on ultrasound almost certainly means advanced Cirrhosis which you already know. Cirrhosis is where the Liver cannot repair itself, when it tries it just makes the scarring worse, so it progresses over time until it stops working altogether. The spleen getting larger is likely because your condition is getting worse, im sorry to say :(

    With Cirrhosis the risk of Liver cancer goes up and Im guessing that is why they are giving you ultrasounds, to check for Liver Cancer.

    What is the cause of the Cirrhosis? stopping the cause can slow things down alot for some

  • Hi Ralph, I do often wonder about liver cancer. Hope Im one of the lucky ones who doesnt get it. I imagine the hepatologist might want me to have a biopsy in the future possibly. The spleen issue is a worry as it has been hurting me recently. I try to live life as healthy as I can and don't drink which was one of the factors that led to liver failure in the first place. The salt intake is a hard one as Im vegetarian and now living on my own the ready meals sometimes are an easy option. It seems this year for some reason things have started to go a bit wrong healthwise. One thing after another.

    Thanks for your advice. Hope you are ok.


  • Hi jules45, yes it's normal to have nodule's, I have them to. Together with the scarring is cirrhosis. I also have an enlarged spleen which again is not uncommon and I was told not to worry too much about it. If you can cure the cause of your liver disease you can slow down or stop the progression altogether. Of course all case's vary but it's about managing the condition's from the disease. Have a word with your specialist, I'm sure he will answer your question's. All the best.

  • Thankj you for your replies about nodules and spleen. My mind is more at rest now. The cause of the cirhossis was drink related which I gave up years ago but the cirhossis is progressing. I also have had 6 varicies banded since May. It seems this last week my illness had got the better of me for some reason. I felt so sick yesterday it was unreal yet today I feel completely different. My hepatologist appointment to explain the scan will be approximately end November as I see him every 3 months now so he will be able to elaborate and I will be more informed. Hope you are all ok and once again, thanks for being there.

    julie x

  • Sorry to hear it's progressing. Mine seem's to be keeping stable. I have also had banding done for varices 3 or 4 time's but have now stayed clear. Try and stay positive though, I think a good state of mind help's. I hope you have a good team of speacialist's who look after you.

  • Hi, glad to hear you're in a stable situation healthwise. Its only since my gastroenterolost who I used to see twice a year left his position for another hospital that I have now been allocated a hepatologist after my many requests to see one. I now consider myself to be more looked after as he wants to see me every 3 months so I am in a better position than I was last year. Good job too considering all that has gone wrong this year so far, ie, varicies banding, and the latest scan findings. I do try to stay positive but as you know it can be difficult sometimes when you feel so lousy. Nice sunny day today and feel quite well. Hope you do too.

    julie x

  • Yeah a hepatologist is definately who you want to be seeing and yeah it can be difficult to be positive sometime's. I count myself lucky that I feel pretty good most of the time. There are a lot who aren't so fortunate. But keep your chin up and keep fighting girl.

  • Thanks for that - I read on here about a lot of people who are a lot worse off than me and I am very mindful of their situations. Will keep on fighting and enjoying the good days. As you can see on my tiny photo on my profile (need a microscope to look at it properly!) I am happy sat in my garden. Had quite a productive day today and thank god I am still able to enjoy baking, and a bit of gardening. Hepatologist appointment not far away which will bring me back down to earth with a bump no doubt

  • Hi jules

    I think gardening is the best thing to take your mind off things! I love being in my garden. It's my husband who has cirrohosis and he keeping well. Like you he is going to be seen I think every three months by his hepatologist. He keeps busy working and very upbeat but some days feels very tired and recently he watched a u tube video about what cirrohosis does to your body (most of the things he has like portal hypertension and varicse) -it was a brilliant video by a doctor but boy did he feel a bit down and deflated after watching it!

    I find you can forget about the disease some days and others it's hard not to feel completely panic stricken about the future

    Love this site as so good to know others out their with this awful disease

  • Hi Katherine,

    Thanks for your message. I, like your husband have portal hypertension, varicies and good days and bad days with tiredness. Some days I just can't do anything then on my good days Im pottering, tidying etc. I can get very down if I think of the bigger picture and most days choose to forget Im ill. This site is excellent as everyone is so helpful and kind despite what illness stage they are at. Im only really reminded Im ill when the postman puts appointments through the door then reality strikes - then the long car journey to hospital appointments. I get alarmed at any twinge of pain, or a new set of blotches on my skin etc but try to think about something else.

    Hope you cope ok with your situation - it's difficult I would think watching someone you love suffer. I don't have family to speak of but a good support network who leave me alone if I want, or support me if I can't cope.

    Take care


  • Hi Julie

    So true that about forgetting the illness some days. It was awful at the start when we found out and was constantly the only thing I thought about -but have relaxed since he was seen at st James in Leeds and they told him he wasn't near the stage of transplant yet That's exactly right though when the appt letters come through plus my husband has a fortnightly Venus section as he got cirrohosis from an under detected genetic disorder haemachromotosis. And he has to withdraw the massive volume of iron in this way. Just a shame it was never picked up in his 50 years. Still we have to thank ourselves it was picked up on a random blood test and we can get him

    Constant monitoring and he has done the obvious of stopping alcohol losing weight and eating sensibly

    Hoping the liver and all the stomach problems stay stable and controllable

    Love this forum. Think it's the best place as we have found friends and family supportive but they have no idea of the severity that liver disease can be. Because he doesn't look ill people assume everything is fine. No point in worrying them I suppose as one day they will get the picture

    That why it's so good to talk to fellow liver disease people

    Keep on going 😀

  • Hi, thanks for message. I don't look ill either - just a bit haggard some days so people wouldn't guess theres anything wrong with me. I have a figure though of very thin arms and legs and a moderate round tummy probably due to massive spleen and enlarged liver so I love winter when I can cover up. Like you I think this forum is a great place to share worries etc as people generally don't have much knowledge or sympathy of the effects of liver problems.

    I will keep plodding on. Best wishes


  • HCC stands for hepatocellular carcinoma. I would focus less on the "nodules" or you will drive yourself crazy with worry about something the docs are not concerned about, and focus more on the urine retention that saw you in hospital recently as that sounds more of an immediate problem.

  • Yes, good advice Bolly. I am waiting for a letter to see urologist for 1st assessment. Seems strange but the retention is worse when I take my Spironolactane 50mg duiretic which Ive been on for 5 years. The side effect leaflet does say do not take if you have problems passing urine but I have been told not to stop them. The Furosimide 40mg seems fine.

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