This is what Don had done yesterday. Essentially, they threaded a line down his jugular vein, behind his heart and into a vessel that goes into his liver. Once there, they insert an instrument that takes a tissue sample (or several) so that it can be sent to the lab for dissection and diagnosis. What we want to see is what Don's liver looks like today compared to the biopsy he had 2 years ago.
He had a liver biopsy 2 years ago. It was the kind that they insert a very long needle through the skin at an angle under the rib cage. This biopsy procedure although a bit more comfortable for the patient, has a higher risk for bleeding. Don's current platelet count is 75,000. Normal is 140,000 to 400,000 which means he bleeds easily. It also means that clotting takes longer. If he bleeds from the trans jugular procedure, his blood feeds back into the veinus system. I hope that made sense. We will not have the results until his next appointment on the 15Th of December.
His procedure was scheduled for 12noon. Two emergencies came in that morning setting every one's schedules behind and Don was not wheeled into the OR until 3pm. It took an hour, instead of the 30-40 minutes they stated and then he was moved to a holding "short stay" room where he was observed for 6 hours. He had to lay in a certain position on his back with his head elevated for the entire time. The rooms were very small, only had a few uncomfortable upright type chairs and each room was a double. Don's roommate, ironically was a heart transplant patient. We were glad to be released and around 10:30pm he was wheeled down in a wheel chair to the front where they had already brought our car down from the parking lot.