ONWARDS AND UPWARDS - a diagnosis and treatment of Hepatocellular carcinoma (primary liver cancer) diagnosed August 2010, presumed caused by 30+ years of chronic hepatitis B. And a search for how to be healthy living with cirrhosis presumed caused by Autoimmune hepatitis (diagnosed April 2011)
"There's a myth that anyone who has a liver problem has brought it on themselves"This quote is from a Crohn's disease patient living with a blocked portal vein hoping for a liver transplant (Independent 31st Oct 2010)
Saturday, 21 August 2010
Not me in this picture!
I'm so lucky the hospital has just installed a Fibroscan. It means I don't have to have a biopsy prior to surgery.
The procedure takes 10 readings and the result is the average. I'm hoping for a reading of less than 5.5. Mine averages 12.4. Not good, (but the machine can measure up to 75, so perhaps I'm being unfairly gloomy). Tara the nurse shows me a graph which interprets the results. It ranges from F1 in green through amber, light red and dark red which is F4. I'm at the top of F3 which indicates fibrosis. The results will go to the surgeon to help him remove the area round the tumour and resect the liver.
It's been a painless procedure apart from an odd thud at one point. From today on my liver area feels bruised.
Extract from a news report from East Cheshire NHS
New Fibroscan equipment already benefitting patients 03 August 2010 The Gastroenterology Department at East Cheshire NHS Trust has been successful in its application to become a host trust for a Technology Implementation Project supported by the NHS Technology Adoption Centre.
Macclesfield District General Hospital has become the first centre in the region to be equipped with an elastrograph - Fibroscan, developed by Echosens International. This medical device is designed to rapidly measure liver stiffness in a painless and totally non-invasive manner.
The Fibroscan machine uses a probe, which is kept on the right lower chest of the patient. Just by pressing a button the ultrasound probe sends a wave into the liver. The Fibroscan measures the speed of the wave and calculates the stiffness of the liver. This data is automatically processed by the onboard computer and the liver stiffness is displayed on the screen. Ten readings are recorded. The patient lies on his/her back, right arm raised behind the head. The measurement is made on the right lobe of the liver by intercostal route using a dedicated probe with a vibrating system. The result is delivered at the end of the 10 recordings. The process takes 10 minutes and assesses the patient for liver fibrosis and cirrhosis.
The Fibroscan has been used in patients with persistent abnormal liver function tests including patients with viral hepatitis, alcoholic liver disease, fatty liver disease and many other conditions which may lead to liver cirrhosis. The result of the examination is instantly available to the patient and helps the clinician to make a diagnosis of liver cirrhosis or fibrosis and then offer specific patient management.
This new technique also allow the treating doctor to arrange all patients with abnormal liver function tests into groups of those who have a high degree of liver fibrosis or cirrhosis and therefore require intensive management and those who are at low risk and would only be rescanned in one to three years.