Feb 7, 2001
Dear Doctor, Could you please tell me what is involved in a liver biopsy. Our doctor has said that there is a risk of hemorrhaging (i.e. it going wrong) which may in turn require an operation. This has really frightened us and is putting us off the whole thing even though we know it could be beneficial. Thank you.
Response from Dr. Dieterich
Dear Worried, The risks of bleeding during a liver biopsy are very small. About 1 in a thousand may experience some bleeding requiring a transfusion. The risk of dying is less than 1 in 10,000. Those are usually acceptable risks to acquire the information. You have to make your own decisions, but the more biopsies your MD has performed, the less likely the complications. Good luck! DTD
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