does a liver biopsy hurt?

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help

United States

#1 Oct 6, 2009
my dr wants to do a liver biopsy on me because i have hep c genotype 1a. i'm scared to death. he said the treatment was basically ineffective and that it would cause more damage than the disease. now all of a sudden he wants to do a liver biopsy and i don't see the point. i'm not sick, i'm lethargic, but the disease isn't bothering me that i can tell. i just need to know if it hurts before i got through with it. please anyone have any experience with this.
George

AOL

#2 Oct 7, 2009
help wrote:
my dr wants to do a liver biopsy on me because i have hep c genotype 1a. i'm scared to death. he said the treatment was basically ineffective and that it would cause more damage than the disease. now all of a sudden he wants to do a liver biopsy and i don't see the point. i'm not sick, i'm lethargic, but the disease isn't bothering me that i can tell. i just need to know if it hurts before i got through with it. please anyone have any experience with this.
Straight out. Yes, liver biopsies hurt. And, you must be awake during the procedure in case something goes wrong. That's very unlikely, but only you will be able to alert the tech if it does.

There's one or two things you can do, however. Ask for an injectable pain med that won't knock you out but will help with the pain. Also, lidocaine helps at the injection site. That's what a biopsy is, an injection. It's two intruments, one inside the other. The outer one penetrates and the inner one takes the sample. The instrument is large compared to other needles. I'd say about the size of an ice pick blade.

You have the most difficult to cure virus. I won't lie to you (I have the same genotype), treatment probably won't eradicate your virus. You will most likely develop cirrhosis over time and this is what the doctor is looking for. How much you're liver is already damaged, or if the virus is causing cancer (the odds of cancer aren't very steep).

You can live a fairly long time with the virus. Interferon's side effects are not nice, but some interferon will always remain in your system, which should slow down your rate of progression. Do some research into Pegasys and side effects. Then you can make an informed decision as to whether you want treatment or not.

By the way, the pain of a biopsy isn't overwhelming. You can stand it. Don't get yourself too worked up about it. Good luck.
help

United States

#3 Oct 7, 2009
So you've had it done? What other procedures have you had done-I've had injections into my spine-but I'd rather not? I'd rather not have it done as I see it's not going to help me because I will not have interferon treatments. If I die I die. That's the way I see it.
George

AOL

#4 Oct 8, 2009
I've had it done ... twice, with another looming in the near future. It's the only way to defintively see what is happening in the liver.

That kind of information is more valuable than you are aware of at this stage in your disease. Doesn't matter if you choose to do interferon or not. If the brain is the body's president, then the liver is governor of the GI and renal systems. It absolutely dominates and affects you in ways you've never even considered.

Take care about this and think hard before you decline biopsy. There is no telling what benefits it will have in the future. You might not believe me, anyway.

My advice is to educate yourself. Google and your computer would be where I'd start. In fact, it is where I started. Try WebMD.com . But, don't stop there. Hepatitisandhiv.com is also a good resource. Forums focusing on Hep C are invaluable.

I wish you the best of luck.
help

United States

#5 Oct 8, 2009
thank u so much George. You've been very helpful. I am so scared and the way the dr talked the interferon is only 40% effective and the effects of the treatment is worse than the disease itself. So I'm trying to get healthier and educate myself. But I was really concerned about the pain factor of that test.
George

AOL

#6 Oct 9, 2009
I understand and am pleased to be of help. Please don't hesitate to hail me again if you think I can be of service. I'm very familiar with the fear.

The dr. is failing, innocently no doubt, to explain that the 40% is a "cure" ratio. 40% will clear the virus with treatment, and 60% will not.

But, let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater. Treatment will still help slow progression, and it will to some extent always remain in your system.

Yes, the treatment is tough ... tough ... tough. But, if you don't know, interferon is what the body releases naturally when you have something like the flu. It's what makes the flu feel icky and achy. The chances of it harming you are miniscule. And, there are methods to make things easier to get through.

Holler if you, at some point, do decide to treat. I'll help with some hints you can apply before treatment begins, and after.

Living is the great adventure that no one survives. No one. Fear can cause one to forget that. The only way to
handle fear is to face it. Seek serenity, and remember that God provides and God decides.

Peace my friend.
melanie

United States

#7 Jun 1, 2011
Hi, I have been reading everyones stories and I have the same question, does a liver biopsy hurt. I am getting one this friday, june 3rd and I am very scared. I am just looking for someone to talk to that has had a liver biopsy. I'm a nervous reck right now. Thanks to anyone that can help me with my situation. Melanie
Leslie

Dallas, TX

#8 Jul 27, 2011
I have hep c. and a kidney dease called rta, the rta is where you lose your vit k through your urine. I have to take the vit once a day. My question is can a person take the treatment for hep c with kidney problems?
shazy39

Staten Island, NY

#9 Aug 31, 2011
I am having a liver biopsy on 9/6/11, i am on the verge of tears, i am so afraid to get this procedure done, is it true you have to stay a couple of hours in the hospital, i also took the next day off of work in case i am soar and dont feel good. can someone tell me what i am up against and what are the after effects?
swanshine

Elk Grove, CA

#10 Aug 31, 2011
I had a liver biopsy yesterday and I was so nervous. Don't be. That was a breeze. They give you a conscious sedation which helps allot. Then they give you a shot to numb the area which burns a little. Then they take the biopsy which I didn't feel at all. Then it is over. You lay there for 2 hrs. to make sure the bleeding has stopped and then you go home. It feels like a puffy ball inside under you rib cage. Your energy is low so you sleep a lot the first day. Today it feels better, just swollen. The pain is controlled with Vicodin. I would do it again in a heartbeat. The anticipation of it is worse than the procedure. Good luck and dont put it off like I did out of fear. If you want to talk more you can email me at: swanshinejewelry@comcast.net
mrs desert rat

Hesperia, CA

#11 Oct 4, 2011
i have put off making my appt to even see the liver dr beause i am so scared my dr nurse called and told me i need to see the specialist because my dr said i have liver damage and i was so scared all i no is the dr did alot of blood test. my thing is tht i have heard some stories about the liverbiospy not even saying it is going to be done but with my luck they will order one. so i am wondering wht i am up aganist. i just dont want to die help anyone
mrs desert rat

Hesperia, CA

#12 Oct 6, 2011
i put off even going to see the liver doctor bcaus of the fear of this biopsy i understad it is painful my family doctor nurse called and told me i have liver damage, and i was blown out of the water she didnt even tell the extended of the damage i was like anm igoing to die help
Livergirl

Orlando, FL

#13 Apr 12, 2012
Liver biopsies do not hurt. I had one done yesterday and I was given a sedative before the procedure. I remember feeling a little sleepy, and the next thing I knew, it was over. I do not remember the radiologist even being in the room, much less any pain. 24 hours later it is just a little sore. Ask for sedation and it will be no big deal. You do have to wait around after the procedure, so bring something to read or an ipod/ipad, etc. I was able to eat right after I woke up. Do not worry about this.
sam

Randolph, MA

#14 Aug 9, 2012
i have to go get a liver biopsy also im scared i wont do it no one understands how i am i wont do it so what can they do they will let me die befroe they put me to sleep like no one can put me to sleep? im scared shit less idk what to do honestly i have liver problems from drugs also heroin an i continue to use i need to get this shit taking care of i know but i wont so what should i do is theiur a doctor that will put me top sleep to get this biopsy done i live in massachusetts very close to boston about 20min to all hospitals in boston please email me if any one knows scoata13@gmail.com
judgenot
#15 Aug 16, 2012
Dont be afraid guys, I have to have one too, it sucks but hey we gotta do it. Just ask for ativan,gilaudid and for some vicodin after and it will almost be fun! Haha! Chins up fellow hep c carriers, it could be worse, way worse..... much love!
judgenot
#16 Aug 16, 2012
***dilauded
judgenot
#17 Aug 16, 2012
sam wrote:
i have to go get a liver biopsy also im scared i wont do it no one understands how i am i wont do it so what can they do they will let me die befroe they put me to sleep like no one can put me to sleep? im scared shit less idk what to do honestly i have liver problems from drugs also heroin an i continue to use i need to get this shit taking care of i know but i wont so what should i do is theiur a doctor that will put me top sleep to get this biopsy done i live in massachusetts very close to boston about 20min to all hospitals in boston please email me if any one knows scoata13@gmail.com
***SAM*** quit trippin honey!!! Im a former junky, and this shit isnt nothin compared to what we do to ourselves on a regular basis. Just tell the doctor you have a low pain tolerance and ask for the damn dilauded, afterwards you can take the pain pills and hell if you still use do a fat issue....just get it done. Be extrordinary, take it like a champ, i mean i can speak for you and me, we did this to our damn selves so fuck it, take your lumps its gonna be okay!

“Illegitimi non carborundum”

Since: Apr 10

...

#18 Aug 16, 2012
The fear of the bx is a thousand times worse than the bx.
pacorkum

Burnaby, Canada

#19 Sep 7, 2012
yes yes yes my biopsy hurt so bad, so bad, and sore day after as well. dr.warned me also
Dirk

Medway, MA

#20 Sep 23, 2012
Ok, so it's a mix of "it hurt like hell" and "I didn't feel a thing, " with a few "so-so's" in the middle. I guess everyone has a different experience. I'm going in for a liver biopsy first thing in the morning and I've been reading the posts and even watched a YouTube video on a doctor doing a liver biopsy and afterwards I was three seconds from calling my doctor to cancel, but I'm going to suck it up and get it done. I have Hep C however, mine is genotype 3 in which I was told had an 80percent cure rate with treatment. I have no symptoms and feel great, but the doctor recommends having it done and starting treatment sooner than later. So, I guess I"m going to experience it for myself and will write back tomorrow and fill everyone in on my experience. Hopefully, they will give me some Vicoden if I have any pain.

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