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1714226 tn?1308628705

Liver Disease

Hi, my name is Patty and I am 29 years old. To say that liver disease runs in my family would be a huge understatement, for my grandmother, aunt, and my father have all died of cirrhosis of the liver. Neither of the 3 were alcoholics either. Since the age of 18, I have had routine checkups and blood work, keeping a close eye on my liver function and health. In January of 2010, I was diagnosed with gallbladder disease and had surgery to remove it. Afterwards, the surgeon who performed it told me that I had a lot of scar tissue on my liver, in which complicated the surgery, and knowing of my family medical history, advised me to see a liver specialist. Since then, I have had several medical problems which were all, unknown to me until just recently, signs and symptoms of cirrhosis of the liver. Medical problems such as nausea & vomiting (sometimes blood), pain in that area, diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, diagnosed with ADD, constant forgetfulness & confusion, yellow spots in the whites of my eyes, skin rashes (mainly on my face and hands), itching all over my body, swelling of my abdomen, and dramatic weight loss. All of these are in my records and until 2 weeks ago I did not know they all had a common link. But, aside from the signs and symptoms, why would a CT scan of my liver come back normal and no signs of scarring?!?! I don't understand. I feel completely helpless, give out, and very scared. Please, any advise would be greatly appreciated.
3 Responses
Avatar universal
With your family history, as well as your symptoms, I would definitely follow up about this more intensely.  I'm not sure why your scans have come back normal.

Are you still seeing the liver specialist?  If so, what does he/she say?  Have you had a recent liver function test?  Results of that?

If you've not had a recent liver function test, I would suggest beginning with that - it's a simple blood test and will give and idea of how well your liver is functioning.  Depending on the results of that test, you may want to investigate the possiblity of having a liver biopsy done.  It will give a much better idea of exactly what is going on with your liver and could/should give a definitive idea as to whether or not you've got cirrhosis and if so, how advanced it is.

Defnitely follow up on this - as you already know from your family history, liver disease can be deadly.

Best of luck and please keep me posted on how you're doing and what you find out.
82861 tn?1333457511
I suspect that the scar tissue on your liver was secondary to the diseased gallbladder rather than scarring of the liver itself.  Get a copy of the surgical report from your surgeon and you'll probably have the answer right there.  You can't rely on doctors actually reading these things most of the time so it's important that you obtain the copy for yourself so you can pass the word along.  

The same thing happened to me when my gallbladder had to come out.  I had no stones but adhesions all over the place including the liver.  Based on your symptoms, has a gastroenterologist ever checked your bile ducts for small stones/ sludge with an ERCP procedure?  It's pretty common in people who have had gallbladder problems but not always pursued unless symptoms are severe.  If sludge is present in the bile duct, it results in the same symptoms as having gallstones or a minimally/ non-functioning gallbladder because bile from the liver can't flow freely to the small intestine.  It's worth checking out if you haven't gone that route already.
547368 tn?1440545385
Hi Pattycakes,

Welcome to the Pain Management Forum. I am glad that you found us and took the time to post your questions and concerns.

Scar tissues, adhesions do not usually reveal on the normal CT/MRI Scans, that's why a scan may return normal. There is new imaging available. It is called Cine Magnetic Resonance Imaging. This has a higher probability of revealing scar tissues. Obviously it is more expensive and it's my understanding it is not every where.

Please know that you are always welcome here... however given your specific liver issues you may find more pertinent information in our Liver Disorders Forum. Here's the link:

http://www.medhelp.org/forums/Liver-Disorders/show/286

I wish you the very best and hope that you will let us know how you are doing. I'll look forward to your updates with great interest.

Take Care,
~Tuck
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