I had a liver biopsy on November 13, 2007 about 7:30 am. My boyfriend left me and was instructed to pick me up at non. When he got there at noon, I was sitting on a chair crying of major pain. He insisted on not to take me home like that and to check me. as I stayed an hour longer, the nurse then helped him help me to my car w/ him stating I would be okay, just take my pain pills. This was at Stanford Medical Center, my drive was about 30-40 minutes to San Ramon. As I got home, my boyfriend had called to say I was vomiting blood and still crying of pain. He was told he just watch me. I felt DEATH! I asked to take me to the nearest hospital and can't remember a thing from there except a ride in an ambulance going to UC Davis! 2-3 hours AWAY from home! The emergency doctor had called Dr. Rubinstein to let him know and he said "there are no beds for her here". ( I had a liver hematoma the size of a mans shoe showing on my xray just 1-2 hours after leaving Stanford Medical Center) Well, 1 month in ICU in UC Davis I was blowing up and turning yellow. I was stable enough to leave and get closer to home. I went in to visit my "primary" doctor and he was literally shocked! I was YELLOW eyed, big belly, dry and wrinkly, just not me! I then went into the Stanford Emergency room. As Dr. Rubinstein instructed to send me home (to the emergency doctor) the emergency doctor INSISTED on me staying. They at that time drained the liver hematoma, about 4-6 liters are so....I then stayed at Stanford for an additional month while going through live shock, blowing up like a huge human ballon in major pain among other things....Out by Christmas time I am now barely on my road to treatment to get my life back. BTW~I had a blood transfusion in 1987 & '88 to save my life from a major car accident, then just about killed during the biopsy gone wrong, now having the best attitude going to survive all this trauma and hell I have been through but most of all the trouble I SHOULDN'T have been through. SO, IS this normal for a biopsy to go this wrong?? Would things have been different IF Dr. Rubinstein did not send me home in pain and watched me overnight? How many people have been through this?
My understading is that the chances of complications from a liver biopsy are aprox. 1 in 5,000. A case like yours is even more rare. Most patients are monitored closely enough to prevent the complications you describe from compounding one after another. No, you shouldn't have been sent home if you were complaining of pain. One in 5,000 is probably rare enough for some hospitals or doctors to become complacent, but I find it unusual to occur somewhere like Stanford. I'm also amazed that you would be transported as far as Davis from San Ramon. I'm sorry for your pain and hope you reach a full recovery.
SAVE~ represents the year I was saved from a major car accident in 1987 after going off an embankment on my way to work with a tire blow out. I flew out of my car and my car hit me. I was SAVED at 28 years old with a blood transfusion (quite a few sacks) then re-operated on in 1988 with another blood transfusion.
KILL~during my biopsy, I was sent home to die! That is how I feel. An UN-considerate, not one of a "normal doctor" sent me home with a liver hematoma. Thank God I had great medical help and a lot of prayers and positive attitude from there.
SURVIVE~after 1 1/2 years of pain, tears, skinny, malnutrition, pain medications and NO life (not my normal out and about energetic self) I am excited to make it through the Hep-C treatments and I will SURVIVE!
I had two liver biopsies. The first, in 1992, was done by an experienced gastroenterologist. It couldn't have gone smoother. Lay on my side for a couple hours after the procedure and home in a taxi that afternoon. No heavy lifting for a few days and no problems. The second was done by a different gastro in 2001. He missed my liver twice and then spent an hour running around the hospital telling everyone how it wasn't his fault. The next day a radiologist did an ultrasound guided procedure - no problems. If at all possible, have your biopsy done with ultrasound guidance.
You may have a malpratice lawsuit here,they should have NEVER let you take any kind of trasit right after the operation,the shock and bumps from the ride will cause your liver to bleed hemmorage,my doc told me to at least wait 4-6 hours afetr the BX before i did anything
I’m very familiar with both hospitals; I live east of Sacramento, and have taken a number of patients to the liver center at UCD.
Sorry you had such poor experiences; what a shame. They generally watch the patient for several hours, until they are fairly sure they have no complications. I had a U/S guided biopsy in 2005 with the local hospital here, and had no complications. You apparently slipped through the cracks; this highlights the fact that biopsy is an invasive procedure with significant risk. Thanks for posting your experience for others to review.
Hi, I am sorry to hear about what you have gone through. It is definitely not common! I have had three liver biopsies all with no major side effects or problems. The only problem I had was that the last one they had to go in twice instead of once because they did not get enough tissue the first time (which I understand is fairly common) and that it hurt going in the third time. Hope you have better luck in the future. God Bless- Tanya
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