Liver Biopsy: I have had PBC for 10 yrs... - PBC Foundation

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Liver Biopsy


I have had PBC for 10 yrs. Would be interested in hearing others experience with having a liver biopsy. Had my first CAT scan guided liver biopsy on Monday and did not have a very good experience. Apparently I had a bleed, 2 hrs after the procedure I had a sudden drop in Blood Pressure, clammy, pain etc immediately had another CAT scan with contrast and ended up in ICU for management. I came home this morning feeling a bit sore sad and sorry for myself. I knew this could be a side effect just interested in how often this happens

12 Replies

hi mtrafter

sorry to read of your difficulties. I had my liver biopsy over 10 years ago and apart from the shooting pain into my right shoulder which was fleeting I did not have a bad experience.

wishing you a speedy recovery

mtrafter in reply to butterflyEi

Thankyou so much for your support.


I was informed/warned by my Hepatologist that bleeding is a risk with biopsy. Not a "high" occurring one in her practice but she did say it is a risk. I'm sorry you had to deal with that on top of just having PBC. So glad that you got stabilized and are home now. Sending support and gentle hugs.

mtrafter in reply to EileenUSA

Thank you for your kind words.

Before they did the biopsy they did blood work including platelets count to make sure you handle it. After biospy, the recovery nurse monitors your vitals, makes you lie on your side for several hours so that the wound clots. Then if all is fine, you are released. Sorry your experience was not pleasant. I wish you a speedy recovery.

Sorry for the experience you had :( how often is a biopsy needed. My doc refused to give me a stage # but said it was pretty bad. I have v low platelets. What things should I be most concerned about. Also having lots of liver pain past few weeks

the same thing happened to me except I wasn't bleeding I was just in so much pain I ended up in the ICU I had a cat-scan I ended up being there the entire night I guess after the medicine wore off the pain was just too much for me to handle but I wasn't bleeding I hope you're doing better

I had liver biopsy guided through the jugular. I had no pain or soreness.

Thanks for sharing your experiences, Im on the mend albeit slowly still having digestive and abdominal discomfort have follow up appt Wednesday. Not sure I would ever have another Liver Biopsy without a hospital admission. Fibroscans from now on!

I have had 2 ultrasound guided biopsy (although 3 scheduled) and recovered well after both of them.

The first one was actually cancelled last minute because the consultant felt it was too high risk.

I had unexplained lesions which were hyper vascular and therefore more likely to cause a bleed.

The 2nd one actually went ahead but the consultant was extremely cautious, ensuring theatre was in standby. It was definitely uncomfortable but the sense of "panic" made it feel scary.

I had to remain lying flat for 6 hours afterwards whilst being monitored. A sample was taken but they were not sure of the results (at this stage a rare type of cancer was expected)

The 3rd time the biopsy was with a very experienced consultant, it was over so quickly and I barely noticed it. He thought 2 hours recovery would be fine.

Afterwards I had some pain which subsided by a week, it felt as if the Liver was bruised and swollen.

Results from these were still confusing so I underwent a surgical biopsy and I was told I would be in ICU for 3 days but within a day I was discharged. Looking back the worst was the first biopsy.

The Liver is a large organ and there is always a risk of bleed, I was told it was around 5% and consultants are keen to not be in that statistic which is why one was cancelled.

It is horrible to go through a scary procedure and then have problems afterwards. Take time to rest and talk about it as I think sharing the experience with family does help.

Good luck with your healing.

Thanks for sharing, did you have your first one as an inpatient in hospital? I had mine as an out patient in a private Radiology centre attached to a private hospital. I understood that bleeding could happen in a small percentage of cases. The consultant assured me that he had done hundreds and had never had any one have a bleed! I guess I ruined his stats.

I had a local anesthetic and it was all over and done with in no time I felt nothing. Then had to lay on my back for 4 hrs while being closely monitored it was 2 hrs into my monitoring that my ptoblems happened. If I ever have to have another I will insist on being an inpatient.

Thank you mtrafter for sharing your experiences.

It is because of these incidents (and worse) that we always try to ensure patients only go through biopsies that are absolutely necessary.

It can be remarkably simple bit it also has its risks.


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