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Hepatitis and HIV CoinfectionHepatitis and HIV Coinfection
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lvr biopsy
Mar 7, 2002

My husband was diagnosed with hep-c 1year ago, and so far has had no "treatment" other than monitering his viral count and enzyme levels. (He's also been vaccinated for hep-b). His Dr wants to do a biopsy, but my husband refuses as he is absolutely terrified! The Dr says he can't force him, so it hasn't been done. My question is, is there any way to have a biopsy done under general anesthesia, or twilight sleep? Do you have any suggestions on how I can convince him to have this important proceedure done? Thanks for your time, any suggestions would be helpful. (Also, thank you for this informative site!)

Response from Dr. Fried

The risks of liver biopsy are very small. We do not use general anesthesia for liver biopsies, because that can also have complications. Rarely, conscious sedation with an iv agent like midazolam can be used for exceptionally anxious persons. Usually, education of the patient about the procedure and reassurance is the most helpful. Just about every patient I ask always says that the anticipation of the biopsy is much worse than the split-second it takes to perform the procedure and they usually feel a bit silly having worried about it.

Ultimately, it's your husband's decision, so he must be comfortable about it.

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