In order to more clearly understand the problem with is affecting your liver, a liver biopsy has been recommended. The biopsy will be taken with a needle and will be done as an outpatient. The site for the biopsy will be on your right side, halfway between your armpit and the lower portion of your rib cage. You will stay in the hospital for 3 to 4 hours, Your blood pressure and pulse will be monitored and your blood count will be rechecked approximately 3 hours after the biopsy to ensure that there are no signs of bleeding. The results of the biopsy will be discussed with you at the time of your recheck appointment.
The risks of the procedure are
Puncture of the lung, gallbladder, or kidney 1:3000
Bleeding and the need for blood transfusion 1:2000
The benefits of the procedure are:
Allows a more accurate assessment of the degree of liver damage and helps in deciding if treatment is necessary.
Can also help in making a diagnosis of the cause of your liver abnormalities if the laboratory testing has been inconclusive.
You will need to stop taking any aspirin or aspirin-like products (ibuprofen, Advil, Motrin, Alleve, etc.) for 7 days prior to the biopsy.
You will need to have someone pick you up after your biopsy as you may receive medication to help relax and make you sleepy during the procedure. If you have pain after the procedure, pain medication will be available.
The procedure takes approximately 15 minutes, but you will stay in the hospital afterward for approximately 3 to 4 hours to ensure that no complications have occurred. A blood count will be checked after 3 hours and if no bleeding has occurred you will be discharged home.
You will be able to return to work the following day. If you do heavy manual labor you should take an additional day off from work.
HAVING READ AND UNDERSTOOD THE ABOVE, I FEEL THAT THE BENEFITS OF THIS PROCEDURE OUTWEIGH THE RISKS. I HAVE DISCUSSED THE RISKS, AND BENEFITS WITH DR. STUART AND HAVE BEEN GIVEN AMPLE OPPORTUNITY TO ASK QUESTIONS.
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