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British Liver Trust
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Liver biopsy

Hello. I would like to know if anyone can help me to understand why the doctor said that I will have a liver biopsy?

I have understood that thay can find a reson of my cirrhosis from the blood tests?

I din not received straight away an appointment, and I was wondering for how long have you been on the waiting list for having a biopsy?

How painful is it?

Thank you.

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Good morning. Here is a link to some information on liver biopsy:

britishlivertrust.org.uk/li...

regards

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Thank you

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If you look at the sidebar (right hand side) you will see relevant posts which will answer your question and also you could look in the search bar if you want some peoples personal experiences. Hope this helps :)

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Yes, is helping. Thank you

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Hello monikoki, welcome to the group. The answer to your question isn't so straight forward as it may seem. I personally wouldn't have this procedure straight away. Some doctors consider a liver biopsy to be an invasive and often unnecessary procedure, as a lot of answers regarding the state of your liver can be answered with other exams and tests.

Your GP should really be referring you to a herpetologist. Here they know what they are looking for. A Firboscan would measure the structure of your liver and highlight the stiffness. Other scans are able to show up scaring and possible tumours. There is also a ELF blood test with certain markers that can now identify Fatty Liver and Fibrosis. All these tests are non-evasive so should be carried out in the first instance. If after all this has been done, then I liver biopsy would be the way forward, but it should be the acception rather than the rule.

I hope this helps you

Good Luck, Richard

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Thanks for your reply. Yes, I know that I could have other tests before biopsy. That why I cannot understand the reason for having it.

I will ask my Gp to be sent to the Haepathologyst.

Thank you

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As I understand it you are at least 8 months on from diagnosis of cirrhosis and as yet no cause has been identified - if the cause is still active your liver could potentially getting worse as the cause isn't being treated. Having ruled out drink as you don't drink and also your medication history has been looked at then you are probably at the stage where doctor is stumped as to cause and the gold standard test to see what is going on at a cellular level within the liver is to look at a liver biopsy. My husband had his first one after only a week in hospital following his initial diagnosis of cirrhosis - t-total, fit, thin and athletic - his doctors were puzzled and needed the biopsy to look at the liver at a cellular level to identify what had caused his cirrhosis - it turned out to be an auto-immune condition. A 2nd biopsy a couple of years later was done to check whether his AIH was still active within his liver.

Biopsy is generally (there are exceptions) painless, a tiny bit of discomfort as the needle pierces the capsule surrounding the liver. A little bit of local anaesthetic is used to numb the entry site and most people report the most annoying bit about biopsy is the lengthy period (up to about 4 hours) where they have to lie still afterwards. My hubby has always said he'd rather have a 100 biopsies to a single endoscopy (he's had 2 biopsies - one through the side and one transjugular) & many many endoscopies.

Katie

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Oh, thank you so much for your reply. So, let's hope that I will not fill the pain either.

Thank you

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I should just like to point out that I was referred to a gastroenterologist who oversaw my liver problem, from AIH- mentioned above, for 8 years. I never saw a hepatologist until the last 18 months when I felt it was necessary to be referred to one. As I understand it, a hepatologist is not always available at local level, but a gastroenterologist is every bit as experienced in dealing with liver problems, especially when the hospital is large. Smaller hospitals may have fewer patients with liver problems for the gastroenterologist to get experience with. So, don't be put off if you get to see a gastro instead of a hepatologist. Mine did all the right stuff and I asked for a referral to the QE (in the UK) because my condition was getting worse, not because I had lost faith in my gastro. Best of luck :)

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Thanks for the reply. Hopefully, mine he knows what he is doing as well.

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You will receive many helpful comments from fellow forum users but the advice your own medical team gives you is very important. If you have concerns about why a particular treatment or procedure has been advised you should discuss this with your medical team as a priority so that you can understand the rationale.

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It was explained to me that the reason is because they want to find the reason for me to develop cirrhosis, and to find out more about in what stage I am.

I have received the appointment for my biopsy, which is going to happen in 31st August. I wouldn't expect to be so soon, and I am very happy about it..

Thank you for the reply

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I don t kow how long you wioll wait but I can tell you it is painfull as I have had it they keep asking me to have another one I won t no chance

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I have had 2 and I didn’t feel a thing. Maybe they need to give you a lil anistisia

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Usually it can take 4-6 weeks depending on your health insurance and biopsy is a better way to find out if your liver is PBC or a different liver disease

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Hi, thanks for the reply. How long have you wait for the results to come back?

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Hi I had a biopsy through my jugular

felt nothing really so don't worry too much

E

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I had a liver biopsy done when they first diagnosed my cirrhosis as Nash and it was no pain at all I was scared to death because I had heard it was painful they gave me a drug to kind of make me sleepy like they give for colonoscopy you're awake but you don't remember anything I remember talking to the doctor and the nurses and him telling me he was going to stick the needle in me and I never felt anything and I am a coward of needles and I had no bruising afterwards just a small little hole in my chest so if they want to do one go for it because it gives them a definitive diagnosis

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Thanks for the reply. I will do it because I have no alternative. My colonoscopie was painful maby because they didn't wait enough for the drog to kick in, but I had a good sleep after. I am a bit scared for the biopsy, but I must know more about my condition.

Thank you so much for your kind words.

What was your diagnostic after biopsy?

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