Liver Biopsy Number 3

The liver doctors from inova Fairfax called about 2 weeks ago with their findings from the Duke liver biopsy.  Since they performed Anya’s first biopsy, pre-transplant, in 2007, they were able to compare the two datasets.  They determined that Anya most likely does not have cirrhosis of the liver, which was very welcome news.  However, they were still getting readings of portal hypertension, which means elevated pressures from the major veins that flow to and from the liver.

What exactly is portal hypertension, and what does it mean for retransplant?  Well, I google’d it, and it seems as though portal hypertension is usually directly associated with cirrhosis, but there is something called non-cirrhotic portal hypertension (NCHP), which is commonly misdiagnosed as cirrhosis of the liver.  Cirrhosis is usually treated with a liver transplant; NCHP is usually treated with a Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt.  Try saying that 3 times fast.  Obviously, a shunt would be much better than a liver transplant.  We’re hoping that Anya won’t have to do either.  I couldn’t find anything about portal hypertension and double lung transplants, so it’s hard to say what it would mean, but the doctors have lead us to believe that Anya is much much better off without the need for a liver transplant.

Anyways, the docs are still not absolutely certain that Anya has portal hypertension, which is why they ordered another liver biopsy this morning.  She is in the procedure room right now.  I am in the waiting room.  The good thing is that we’re at Fair Oaks hospital which is literally 10 minutes away from us.  The doc said that the procedure will take about an hour with a “few hours” recovery time.

We should know the results of this third biopsy within a week.  Waiting is not our strong suit, but that seems to be the common theme these days.  Whatever it takes to get it right…

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