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British Liver Trust
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Wait for Liver Biopsy

Could people please give some indication of how long they have had to wait for a liver biopsy, it feels like I have been waiting forever, but the consultant changed his mind at one stage and have now been waiting for about a month - no sign of an appointment yet but received the appointment for my six monthly ultrasound and they were ordered at the same time.

I'm not very good at waiting :-)


14 Replies

My own experience was that the consultant recommended a liver biopsy on my first consultation with him and the actual procedure was performed as a day patient case in the hospital where he practices two to 3 weeks later. From memory after the procedure had been performed I had to stay on a bed in the day patient ward for about 4 to 5 hours keeping as still as possible of reduce the risk of bleeding.

The result was made known to me about 3 weeks later during the second consultation with my consultant so overall a period of about 2 months maximum from recommendation to the actual result being made known to me .

From some past postings on this forum it is evident that some people often face long delays (no doubt they will reply to your post with details of their experiences) before procedures are performed so I may have just been very lucky. In fact I haven't encountered any delays or had to wait for extended periods of time for any of my liver disease appointments and procedures and think that must be because the consultant is very proactive along with his very efficient secretary in getting things done without undue delay.

If you haven't already done so then it might be an idea to phone your consultant or his secretary /nurse to remind them you are still waiting and ask for an indication as to when the biopsy is likely to be performed.

I do hope you hear something soon and that your frustration with waiting can end.



Yes I need to contact the consultants secretary. I have been putting this off a bit as she doesnt answer the phone, I need to leave a message and she rings between 2 and 4 in the afternoon and will not ring mobiles, as I am at work during this period I am only contactable on my mobile. I need to not project about the irritation and just ring :-).

Thanks for replying.


Ask her to text you?


There's a conflict between waiting for results and being called back to the hospital next day. I've had both and typically the sooner you find out normally the more urgent and therefore serious the diagnosis.

So of course you want to find out but I think I would rest assured that they haven't been chasing you. No news is often good news.

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My concern is that they first said I need a biopsy in July and then changed their mind and now another change of mind and I need one again and seem to be waiting, not really got much faith in the decision making. I have an appointment in February, so lets hope I have one before this :-)

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Hi,what is the reason you are waiting for a liver biopsy ?

I had one many years ago which diagnosed PBC.

I waited 10 weeks for the results so presumed all must be well.

As I understand now they do not do liver biopsy to diagnose PBC anymore.

In my case it was because I was antibody negative with raised LFTs.

Hope you get your appointment soon,it's hard waiting.

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They have diagnosed Cirrhosis from blood tests, ultrasound and fibroscan, I have raised ANA 1:320 and am pANCA positive which the consultant has said indicates it could be autoimmune rather than just caused by a fatty liver, so wants to check for autoimmune disease

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Well it could be PBC if its autoimmune,I understood from my Hepatologist in Newcastle that they didn't need to do liver biopsy now.

It's no problem having a biopsy and I guess they will have a more difinative answer for you.

I have had PBC for 16 years since diagnosed and they reckon I may have had it for at least 10 years before diagnosis.

What I am saying is it's not as bad as I thought when I was told the diagnosis,it was a bit of a shock.

Let me know how you get on.

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Thanks for that, I am trying really hard to keep it all in perspective, it has worked out that as I get used to one diagnosis, they deliver another that is worse. I have found this site really helpful, people have answered my questions and shared what has happened to the.

I worry that I will end up on the transplant list in next to no time or worse still. As much as I dont want to hear that others have been living with their liver disease for so long, it actually gives me hope :-)


Of course you have hope,most of theses autoimmune liver diseases never ever end up needing a transplant.

My consultant told me you are more likely to die with it than of it,and that gave me hope when I felt as you are now. X




Hello Anne,

It all depends on how the last blood test were and of course your liver doctor plays an important part too. I had my biopsy arranged in a week after i had a fibroscan and blood test.

I know how it feels waiting and i hope they will let you know as soon as possible.

Best wishes



i had biopsy in nov waited 4 weeks for appointment ,had letter yesterday with results so all in all good service a weeks notice to go in x


I waited a month to the day, however, I did have to chase to get it.


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