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British Liver Trust
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Why do doctors use a ultra sound if it's useless at detecting problems in my liver


Did an ultra sound discover your liver problems ?

Has anybody had really good ultra sound test results but still had problems like cirrhosis/ hepititus or lots of fibrosis that was missed on ultra sound. As I think this may of happend to me

I've had the ultra sound they told me I have a polyp on my gallbladder and a 3 mm scar on my liver but it's apparently nothing to worrie about. When I went for ultra sound I had not drank alcohol in 21 days and I'd only been eating steamed green veg and plenty of green tea,water taking in almost no fat just healthy food. I was even blending up lemons and drinking with with water to detox.

So could the healthy diet for 3 weeks up to the day of the ultra sound be the reason I got good ultra sound results? When in fact I do have really bad scaring inside my liver ?

As most wil know I used to drink I'd say 13 units every night 6 beers. I'm no longer drinking I've had a pain that comes and goes in my liver area sometimes lasting days or just a few hours. It's just a dull ache. The reason I quit beer

The doctors examination revealed no swelling of the liver.

I've had 2 sets of blood test come back fine... after talking with my doctor yesterday she said I had perfect results on both blood tests

I drank right up until the day before I had my blood test.

I saw the doctor yesterday and she told me it's gas or may be a pulled muscle. COME ON I know my body I'm not over weight Ive had gas this is not gas. Who has gas for week ? I don't have a pulled muscle. I've been honest I've drank heavy for 12 years daily for 10 (every evening after work it in the day ever)

I want a fibroscan but they won't give me one as results are normal. I'm not sure if I should be really looking after myself with a stupid strict diet or if I can let go abit as the docs say I'm fine. I know there is something wrong. Finding it hard for Docs to take me serious ?

3 Replies

Hi Kevin, Sorry your having a few problems. My liver cirrhosis was discovered via ultrasound and the fluid I was harbouring along with the Portal Vein thrombosis I had (have). I never drank heavily and my diet was always pretty good, ex services so my fitness levels were very high too, so completely opposite to you I am afraid.

You may be having pains/feeling out of sorts because of this Polyp in your gallbladder? have they said what they can do for you? I know that they can remove them and that they can cause pains and cause reoccurring gallstones in people over 50, which I know from experience to be very painful.

A scar on your liver is nothing to worry about especially if you reduce your drinking and have a healthy diet (you don't have to be strict). Scars that are dense are ones that need to be worried about as these can't be reversed, but something that is only 3mm I would say is nothing to have concerns about. Especially if your LFT's are coming back good.

You can always get a second opinion from another doctor if your not happy and then there is always the option of having fibro-scan's done privately...I've never had one but my problems are very obvious.

Best of Luck to you.


Thanks for the reply. Sorry to here about your cirrhosis I hope you stay in strong health.

I just can't help but think it's my liver with my drinking history and the dull pain in my right, middle upper quadrant. Im scared as I've read that the ultra sound isn't always a correct diagnosis. But this pain won't shift. I will say in dose seem to come and go a little. I'm just frustrated wish I had more answers.

I also can't help but think the ultra sound may of been rushed as I'm young appear healthy and am quite slim no beer belly. I just remember the radiologists after when I told her about my drinking history. I can't help but think she may of rushed thinking there's nothing wrong with him... may be I'm just paranoid think I need to save up and get a fibroscan...


I'm not sure it is worth your while saving up for a fibroscan as they would need to know what was wrong with your liver to interpret the results. The fibroscan literally takes a minute to do and the number is interpreted according to a scale. However, this scale will say cirrhosis for a number and a certain condition only i.e. Hep C; but this same number could indicate nothing to worry about for someone with cirrhosis caused by alcohol intake. I am using the conditions here to illustrate a point. If you want further clarification, you can look online for how the fibroscan scores are used.

An ultrasound does not have to take a long time and is unlikely that if you have scarring at the moment they would miss it. However, do be aware that just because you have cut back on drinking, it does not necessarily follow that just because there is no scarring now, you won't have scarring in the future. There are posters on here who gave up drinking only to find that years later, they had developed cirrhosis, even though it was NOT present when they gave up the drink. (and they carried on being teetotal)

I hope you can follow what I am trying to say, as it is not always easy to write down what you are trying to explain. I belong to a group of people with liver damage brought on by the immune system and I know from meeting the group and reading their posts on Facebook (and a lot of them post) that a fibroscan is not that commonly used. If they were concerned that you had damage, they would offer you a biopsy, but this is a potentially risky procedure and so is only used when they are convinced the damage is there and requires further investigation.

I hope this puts your mind at rest, but maybe you need to evaluate your drinking habits before you do develop problems. I can tell you that some of the things that happen to you because of liver problems can be very unpleasant to say the least. Good luck!


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