Abdominal U/S is one non-invasive method of looking at many organs (ie liver ,kidneys.spleen.) for any gross abnormalities.
As it pertains to the liver it may show nodules,size of the liver(either enlarged or shrunken,spots(benign cysts or tumors) ,fatty infiltration,,however U/S is not a good marker used for fibrosis ,caused by HCV.
The best modality for this is either a biopsy or possibly fibroscan or fibrosure blood markers.
i had my ultrasound prior to my liver biopsy. its my understanding that it helps the biopsy dr locate where the liver sits. someone can correct me if im wrong. it was no biggy. :) it was very frightening when i was first diagnosed too. so many questions and fears. but i am now on my last three days of treatment. its not easy and sometimes the side affects of treatment was all i could bare , but i got through it and the alternative to not treat was unacceptable. this sight was a godsend. even if i didnt post alot it helped to read others experiences, it helpede to not feel so alone in this. i wish you good luck and good health. keep asking questions here it will help ease the fear of not knowing.
As Will mentioned, it is standard procedure to have an ultrasound when a person is first diagnosed with hepatitis C and liver disease.
On an ongoing basis when a person has stage 4 advanced liver disease) cirrhosis, due to hepatitis C, ultrasounds are performed every 6 months to monitor for signs of liver cancer (HCC). HCC is a very serious cancer that persons with cirrhosis of the liver caused by hepatitis C have an increased risk for developing.
No reason to worry about an ultrasound. Painless. No harmful radiation. Same as when the look at a baby in a mothers abdomen.
That was the first thing my dr. ordered. It is a simple procedure but is only a beginning. My ultra indicated a normal, slightly fatty, liver. However, I was not willing to start treatment w/o more information, so I switched doctors since the one I had was pressing me to start treatment. She said she would never advise someone to not treat. Well, depending on the outcome of tests, that is an option for people with minimal damage because there are some wonderful new drugs on the horizon. The new doctor, a hepatologist, ordered what I knew was needed--a CT scan and a liver biopsy. Scan is completed and biopsy is scheduled. Once I have a complete picture, then I will be ready to make a decision. I see him again August 22 for the results. The more information you have, the better you are equipped to have a discussion with your doctor.
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