Liver Biopsy (cont.)
Information to Share With Your Physician Prior to Liver Biopsy
- Do you have a history of prolonged bleeding
following surgical or dental procedures?
- Do you have allergies or reactions to medications,
anesthetic agents, X-ray contrast agents, or shellfish?
- Are you using
anti-inflammatory drugs (for example, ibuprofen), warfarin (Coumadin) or other
blood thinners? All of these medications are anticipated to interfere with
blood clotting. Their use in the period immediately prior to liver biopsy
could increase the risk of bleeding complications after biopsy. Any
decision to discontinue such medications needs to be made with advice of the
patient's physicians. As an example, some patients on chronic warfarin
(Coumadin) therapy can safely discontinue these medications for a week or more
without any expectation of complications. Other patients might need to be "bridged" to the procedure by starting an alternate medication like enoxaparin
(Lovenox), which is continued up until the night prior to liver biopsy.
David C. Wolf, M.D., FACP, FACG, AGAF
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