Anxious about ultrasound scan, will it... - British Liver Trust

British Liver Trust

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Anxious about ultrasound scan, will it definitely show what's wrong with me?

Spooks58 profile image

I've had recurrent pain under my ribs and round to my back on my right side for well over a year and I'm finally having a scan on Monday. The doctor thinks it's gallstones but I'm concerned it might be fatty liver or pancreatitis or cancer. My Mum had a ten-inch tumour (thankfully benign) removed from her pancreas, along with her spleen, when she was a few years older than me and she became T2 diabetic. Her health was bad from then on although she lived another 15 years. Will the scan definitely show up the problem if it's not gallstones? Thanks in advance, not sleeping well at the moment.

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37 Replies

Hi I’ve had pain in right side of my back sometimes going into shoulder but mainly just my back right by bra line for over 18mths now it’s a awful ache, suffer from bouts of breathlessness as if I’m not getting a full breath, I’ve had ultrasound and showed absolutely nothing regarding my liver etc I’m still in the same pain and still at a loss x

Spooks58 profile image
Spooks58 in reply to Hayleigh79

That does sound familiar, I get breathless too. It's so frustrating when nothing is found, I thought I had IBS for years but it was finally ruled out so I'm hoping for something to show up on the scan so I don't feel like a hypochondriac. Have you had blood tests etc? x

Hayleigh79 profile image
Hayleigh79 in reply to Spooks58

That’s how I feel like I’m being anxious but I’m anxious because I just don’t feel right, I know my body and don’t want to just ignore symptoms. I’ve had bloods over the years which at times have been abit all over the place especially my liver function however once I stopped drinking almost 8 mth ago they all came back to normal but the pain still persists. I’ve just had bloods done last week again and told my B12 and folate is low and a doctor would call me on the 10th to discuss, these have never been low before, it feels like a long wait x

If the doctor felt is was anything to be really concerned about, you would be seen sooner. Try to relax in the meantime. The 10th is just around the corner.Laura

Thanks Laura, that’s what others have said, I just need to listen! X

Spooks58 profile image
Spooks58 in reply to Hayleigh79

Good luck x

If the scan showed no problem with your liver, l would contact the GP again to explore other possibilities for your pain.Best of luck.

Laura

I was referred to physio which hasn’t helped at all as I really don’t think it’s muscular but was prepared to try anything, also had MRI (awaiting results) but they would only do it on my spine don’t know if that would show up other areas??? they have since referred me to the pain team (I’m not quite sure what that is just hoping it’s not a whole heap of medication!)

Thanks for commenting 😊😊😊

Don't worry Hayleigh they will get to the bottom of it and treat you accordingly.Keep us posted.

Laura x

Thanks Laura for your kind words, I will do xx

You're welcome. Take care xx

Hello,

Unfortunately no imaging test for any condition is 100% accurate.

The following study provides estimates of the accuracy of various imaging tests for liver disease (including ultrasound). There are many other studies out there too. A lot can also depend on the experience of the radiologist reviewing images. Hope things turn out well for you.

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articl...

TT-2018 profile image
TT-2018 in reply to Str8jacket

Is there anything else that the doctors get wrong that you don’t question? All you are achieving is adding to people’s anxiety.

Without the knowledge and training of the people who looked after me, who I trusted, I would not be able to write this reply.

Str8jacket profile image
Str8jacket in reply to TT-2018

Well, you won the liver disease lottery and have been successfully transplanted, something 95% of those with cirrhosis will never be able to say. That is great for you, it's a blessing and darn near a miracle. I'm happy for you, truly.

But if you're using your gift of a new liver to continuously attack commenters here you dislike for God knows what reason, perhaps you might reconsider your priorities.

And you do realize that being under the care of a transplant team you received a level of care and professionalism most can never hope for and will never see?

Back to the initial question, the commenter asked whether an ultrasound will "definitely" give answers. Did I mislead anyone here? Are ultrasounds foolproof? If no, what is your problem continuously harping on my posts without providing any argument or evidence other than you received a transplant and are doing well? That's not evidence of anything related to the accuracy of ultrasounds.

Move along, and leave me alone. Studies on US accuracy speak for themselves, and don't need either one of us to prove or disprove them.

TT-2018 profile image
TT-2018 in reply to Str8jacket

Speak for your morally bankrupt healthcare system in the USA but leave the NHS out of it please.

Str8jacket profile image
Str8jacket in reply to TT-2018

What NHS? This thread is about the accuracy of ultrasounds. You added nothing to that conversation.

Next time I want your opinion about one of my posts, I'll ask for it. In the meantime, stop sticking your nose into exchanges that have nothing to do with you. Do you jump into others' conversations too uninvited? Have some manners.

And had I listened to you when I first came on this site looking for advice, I'd probably be dead from a hepatic coma by now. It's precisely because I didn't blindly trust doctors' initial impressions that finally I got treatment. Every patient has to educate themselves and be their own best advocate, period.

Str8jacket profile image
Str8jacket in reply to TT-2018

Also, UK annual transplant are ~750. Deaths from liver disease ~10,000. You received care far beyond what anyone in the UK can hope for. Has nothing to do with moral bankruptcy, everything to do with few livers being available for OLT. You won the care lottery. Few do. Don't assume everyone can receive your level of care. (Not relevant to ultrasound accuracy, but since you keep bringing this up).

Those scanners belong to our NHS that's why Tt2018's comment is relevent to you criticising them as not being 100% accurate. By now everyone here under our NHS know that a combination of scans and blood tests are what reveal a diagnosis (or not) of cirrhosis .

Was anyone talking to you? You're saying TT was suggesting American scanners are less accurate because they're morally bankrupt, but your upstanding NHS scanners are foolproof?

Stay out of conversations you're not a part of. Basic manners. You'll get an invite if your input is needed, promise.

And the initial comment was about the accuracy of ultrasounds. If you have nothing to add on that topic, stop hijacking this thread.

Who do you think you are to say who l reply to? Yet again you cause trouble with your rediculous statements, hijacking someone elses post. So out of order. How do you think you have helped Hayleigh and spookes? Your comments just add to peoples concern about their health.

I would add, your comments were also less than helpful when I first came here looking for guidance, and had I listened to you then I'd likely be dead now. So move along, don't comment on my posts and I'll return the favor.

You are so rude and up your own backside. No one is interested in the garbage you spout. Save it for an American site. You do realise it is against forum rules to post links to sites other than the livertrust and our NHS sites don't you? No you probably don't.

This thread is about the accuracy of ultrasounds. You've added exactly nothing to that conversation, now you're just stirring up drama. This liver forum is not a place for you to work out your issues or pick fights with others, and certainly not liver patients. Stop hijacking this thread with your tantrum, stick to the topic, or don't post. And again, stop commenting on my posts. If I had been looking for your input, I would have asked.

Given that your past input would have me in a pine box by now, you'll understand why I won't be looking for your input on any topic any time soon.

hells456 profile image
hells456 in reply to Str8jacket

Is that true? Do only 5% of those who need a transplant get one? It's taken me a while but I have finally made my peace with having cirrhosis and needing a transplant one day and this pulls the rug out from under me. I want to see my kids grow up and get married, have grandkids and all that. I hadn't realised it was almost impossible. I'm crushed.

Str8jacket profile image
Str8jacket in reply to hells456

5% is not a precise number, but it's close. The numbers are available--number of dead from liver disease, and number of transplants.

That said, saw you have PBC? I don't know much about it, but was under the impression that it can be quite slow to progress if treated. You should be able to find info about that. Also, I suspect that PBC patients are a bit more likely to get a transplant if needed than many other cirrhosis patients, but that's just speculation on my part.

But I hear ya. 5 months ago, I was thinking of kids and a house. Not any more. This is not a good club to be in. Best wishes to you.

hells456 profile image
hells456 in reply to Str8jacket

I'm afraid I'm on the fast track with it as I was diagnosed relatively young and already at cirrhosis. I hadn't realised how bleak it was. I'm struggling through every day as it is and now there's no light at the end of the tunnel. Oh well, I suppose it's better to know now.

Str8jacket profile image
Str8jacket in reply to hells456

With PBC you should be on the radar for transplant evaluation if needed, and if you qualify, in the UK I suspect you'll at least be treated fairly and have a shot. Even with treated PBC at the cirrhosis stage, I believe you may have many good years before a transplant would even be a consideration. I'm no doc though and know nothing of the natural course of PBC...I'll keep hoping for the best for you.

Str8jacket profile image
Str8jacket in reply to hells456

Also, the 5% transplant figure includes in the estimate many people who die from liver disease who are found at very advanced stages and so may be ineligible for transplant due to complications, alcoholics who never make it to the sobriety threshold, and other alcoholics who never come under the care of docs eager to put them on the track to transplant. I would be willing to wager quite a bit that a patient with PBC who has been treated for years and been under the care of liver docs for a long time, and especially a young mom, has a much better shot at getting on a transplant list.

laura53923 profile image
laura53923 in reply to hells456

No it's not true it's just scaremongering by someone who doesn't have a clue. And no they would not choose a young Mother over an alcoholic who has worked damn hard to get clean, gone through the rigorous tests and assessments in order to be placed on the list and receive a transplant. There is no bias by the medics within the NHS in this Country where transplant is concerned, which was evident when l was told my husband was going to need a liver and kidneys. " He's a very sick man and it's our job to try to save him." Were the actual words of his specialist.So please don't worry, if the time comes for you, you will be treated in the same caring manner, regardless of the cause of your cirrhosis.

Laura x

Hi, have you been checked for gallstones??

Spooks58 profile image
Spooks58 in reply to Deb3822

Not yet, my GP seems to think they'll show up on the scan if I have them

Pleased you are getting your scan done. Will be a great weight off your mind when it proves a diagnosis and treatment or medication can be prescribed.All the best to you .

Laura x

Spooks58 profile image
Spooks58 in reply to laura53923

Thanks x

I’ve had “gallstone” pain for 14 years,US never picked it up. It’s unrelated to my liver(consultant said). Under my right rib,through to my lower back and right shoulder. These US,well they are largely open to interpretation and experience of the person reading them(doctor told me that). So?? Good luck with your scan tho!!!

Str8jacket profile image
Str8jacket in reply to deanw41

How DARE you suggest ultrasounds are anything less than perfect?! It's handbags at dawn!!!

Hope you're well, btw.

deanw41 profile image
deanw41 in reply to Str8jacket

Haha. Just my experience. Yeah sound thanks mate,hope your well too.

Hey Spooks,

Jeez, that anxiety is a kicker. Sorry you're having a hard time. I think if the US doesn't pick anything up there will be another tests available to try and get to the bottom of it. I try staying away from Google for starters 🤯 and my best to distract the mind until the results are in. It's not easy. Have you had bloods taken to test your liver function or been referred to gastroenterology? It's disappointing to hear that you've had this for so long before it being assessed. My gran would call that "pure cruelty".

I'm sure the US will lead to answers but if your GP needs to be pushed to organise further tests, I'd do it contiously. You deserve answers. Sometimes people need to be their own advocate.

I have my fingers crossed for you.

Kx

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