Monday, June 15, 2009

1st Surgical Consultaion....

I had my first surgical consultation today and I came away with mixed feelings. When today's appointment was set up, I was under the impression that all my tests looked good and that this appointment was the next logical step for the surgical team to explain the risk, benefits and procedures of the surgery to me.

The meeting was scheduled for 11:00am, I arrived a little early but was led to an examination room to wait for the surgeon. This surgeon was quite nice, very to-the-point but very personable as well! Now, I wouldn't say he tried to talk me out of the surgery, but he certainly described the adventure I wanted to take in graphic detail leaving no stone unturned as far as what to expect during and after the procedure! He made drawings and talked at length about procedures, pain, recovery times, pain management, restrictions on activities, pain, medications I'd need to take after the surgery, follow-up appointments and other follow-up procedures. Remember in my last post where they told me I had some complex bile ducts on my right side? Well, this doctor mentioned that fact as well and suggested that because of the risks and possible complications to me and a possible adult recipient, he recommended that I donate my left lobe to a pediatrics patient. I agreed, I have no preference as to who gets my liver, I just want to help someone, the less complications the better.

He then had me lay on this examination table and pressed around my abdomen quite a bit remarking that after reviewing my test results, he didn't think I would have any troubles with this surgery.....then he dropped a bomb-shell. Apparently, both my MRI and the CT scan showed no signs of liver problems, BUT the ultrasound showed signs of a fatty liver!

Fatty liver?? At 6'3" and 205 lbs, huh??!! I'm a pretty fit guy, my job is very physical and I 'try' to eat properly. (weakness is Lindt chocolate!!) How did this happen? He even showed me the remarks written by the ultrasound guru! I froze...could this be the end of my journey?

- Note: Fatty liver deposits are not the result of eating fatty foods. There are literaly hundreds of reasons one could have a fatty liver...too many to list anyways.

Then came the second bomb-shell...."you also have polyps on your gall bladder". Gadzooks!! I'm falling apart here! I thought they said my tests looked great!!? The doctor, sensing my distress calmly stated "so we have a discrepancy here, two tests say no liver problems, one test says liver problems". Apparently, the ultrasound is a more detailed, sensitive scan, so it sees things the others don't. As far as the gall bladder goes, it poses no danger regardless if I donate or not, if I do donate, they remove it anyways. He went on to explain that more tests would be needed and that more than likely, along with an echocardiogram and a breathing/lung test, they would need to do a liver biopsy. ~sigh~ Needless to say, I left the hospital with a very heavy heart. I mean if I have any health problems, it's great that these tests will discover them! At the same time, what if I'm eliminated from the donation process??

I still have two tests on Wedneday June 17th, my appointment at 8:00am is a brutally rigorous three hour physical....after that I meet with the 'aftercare' doctor at 11:00am. I'll be sure to post all about it when I get home.

Here are the surgeons scribblings from today.

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