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My Experience With A Liver Biopsy

Yesterday at 8 am I was given a liver biopsy at the hospital. Overall, I would say that the experience was not as bad as I thought it would be. Everyday I’m reminded that my past Heroin use was a huge mistake. This day it made me feel sick to the stomach! The first thing they did was get my heart and blood pressure readings and inserted an I.V. I told the nurse that she may have a little trouble because my veins were still hard. (Iv Drug use). To my surprise, it went in real smooth! It seems that my veins have healed, finally.

The doctor that was doing the procedure came in and gave me a rundown and the associated risks. What happens is, they have you lay down on a narrow table that is moved via electronic control anywhere they need. Right above you is a fairly large, black, and round X- Ray transmitter. This is how they look inside of you to tell where the biopsy device is going. I could see it on the monitor as well in my case! After cleaning and sufficiently numbing the area of the biopsy point, the doctor inserts the biopsy tube. This is a hollow needle that is inserted through the skin, right under the lung, and into the liver. When it hit my liver, it felt like someone had punched me in the side. It also had an uncomfortable sting. I can only imagine what it would feel like without the numbing medication! After the biopsy tube was in the doctor put in a long cylindrical device the “snipped” part of my liver off! That also is a bit uncomfortable. He did this snipping procedure 3 more times. So in all he got 4 samples of my liver. All that was needed after it was over was two band aids in an x pattern on my side covering the small hole.

Not as bad as I thought it was, but still, I did not enjoy it. The main risks of this procedure involve: Punctured lung and internal bleeding. Both are extremely rare so not to worry if you are about to get this done.

The reason I had to get this done was because I have Hepatitis C. The doctor wanted to see how damaged my liver currently is. This is an important marker in your treatment for Hepatitis C. Click on the link above if you want to find out all about it!

I hope that this answers all of your questions about getting a liver biopsy, and good luck!

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