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Fatty Liver?? Do they check before surgery?

Started by paxie, Feb 09, 2009 5:01 PM
15 replies to this topic
15 replies to this topic


    Registered User

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  • Surgery: LAP-BAND
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Posted February 9, 2009 - 5:01 PM

How do they tell without opening you up that you have a fatty liver? Or is that something they have to open you up and can not proceed with the procedure if you havent lost enough fat around the liver?


    Registered User

  • Posts: 304
  • Joined: Aug 2006
  • Location: IDAHO
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Posted February 9, 2009 - 5:18 PM

As far as I'm aware, the only way they know is to "open you up" and take a look - and if it's not good enough close you up and try again another day.

All the more reason to stick to that pre-op diet!


    The Cat Lady

  • Posts: 373
  • Joined: Nov 2007
  • Location: MARYLAND
  • Surgery: LAP-BAND
  • Surgeon: Kuldeep Singh
  • Surgery Date: Mar 2008
  • Starting Weight: 252 lbs
  • Weight Lost: 109 lbs
  • Current Weight: 143 lbs
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Posted February 9, 2009 - 5:23 PM

My experience leading up to surgery was elevated liver enzymes on my cholesterol blood work. This is either due to the cholesterol meds I was on, or according to my surgeon, a fatty liver. I was put on the two week pre-op liquid diet (ended up being 3 weeks because I caught a cold and my surgery was bumped a week--not enough time to stop and restart the pre-op diet). The surgeon also told me that if my liver looked fatty when he did the surgery he would sample it for a biopsy. After surgery he told me my liver didn't look that bad. My first blood work post-surgery still had elevated enzymes, so my PCP stopped my cholesterol meds (as well as one BP med, a reflux med, and I wasn't using the CPAP anyway). I just recently had blood work off meds for 6 months. My numbers are still in the normal range AND my liver enzymes are finally normal. It was the cholesterol meds after all.

Talk to your surgeon. They probably have a similar approach. The pre-op diet helps to shrink the liver, but I don't know that they can tell if it is fatty until they get in to put in the band. Clearly it wasn't going to stop mine, just get me a biopsy, but I didn't need it. If you think you may have a fatty liver and they put you on the liquid diet, stick to it. It can only help. Good luck with your journey.


    Registered User

  • Posts: 87
  • Joined: Mar 2008
  • Location: IOWA
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Posted February 9, 2009 - 6:11 PM

I had to have an abdominal ultrasound for just this reason. I was pleased to hear I had one of the skinniest livers of any bariatric patient the tech had seen. Go team me I guess !


    So NOT a Cupcake

  • Posts: 6,186
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  • Location: TEXAS
  • Surgery: LAP-BAND
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  • BMI: 56.7
Posted February 9, 2009 - 6:15 PM

I had blood work, ultrasound, etc etc...and a 3 week preop diet and still when opened up my liver was too thick. I agree if you are given a preop diet follow it TO THE LETTER. No cheating. No modifying it.


    Registered User

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Posted February 10, 2009 - 12:02 PM

Thank you all!! I appreciate the information very much!!!


    Registered User

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  • Surgery Date: Aug 2009
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  • BMI: 35.9
Posted April 3, 2009 - 11:51 AM

I just had an ultrasound done on my liver because my alt and ast?? enzymes were slightly elevated and the result came back as a fatty liver. My pcp said that I didnt need to see a specialist at this point and didn't recommend me do anything different. My paperwork just got sent in to Tricare for the band approval yesterday (and I will get approved according to the insurance guidlines), but I'm so worried that even with the pre op diet my liver will still be too big!! Is fatty liver synonomus with a big or 'thick' liver? I think I'm going to start a south beach type diet now just incase my surgery date is quick! Anyone else have this situation when they were about to get banded??:confused:

    Vicki J


  • Posts: 381
  • Joined: Apr 2007
  • Location: CA
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Posted April 3, 2009 - 12:47 PM

My ferritin levels on the blood work were high and they did an ultrasound to check it. It came back with a diagnosis of fatty liver. One thing you have to realize is that most obese people have fatty liver. The pre-op diet is to shrink it as much as they can. On rare occassions they do get in there for surgery and find that the liver is still too big. However, like I said this is rare. I asked my PCP when my ferritin levels would come down and he told me it could take years to heal. The good thing is - it will go down.

I know how worried you are about that. Try to relax. This is why the surgeries are done is to improve this type of thing. Talk to your surgeon about your worries. If you're like me, you didn't because of fear of what the answer would be (i.e. no surgery).

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