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Re: What to ask the hep doc ?

Re: What to ask the hep doc ?

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Posted by thanbey on September 02, 2000 at 04:32:23:

In Reply to: What to ask the hep doc ? posted by Cindy on September 01, 2000 at 21:57:23:

: First visit with the doc after liver biopsy is next week. What are the most important questions to ask?

Hi Cindy,

Here is a list of questions you might want to ask. Get a copy of all of you lab reports so you can do your own research.

Do your own research on recommendations by going to this website: and clicking on favortie links. You will find lots of good information there.


1. How will this test aid in the diagnosis or therapy of
my illness? 2. Will I need to be hospitalized? 3. Will other tests need to
be done? 4. Will I need other tests in the future, or will I need this test
repeated? 5. Are there simpler or less risky ways to evaluate my
symptoms? 6. What if no diagnosis is made? Will you then simply
observe me to see if the symptoms go away, or will you possibly have to
go as far as exploratory surgery? 7. Do I have any particular risk factors
for any of the tests? 8. Will my insurance cover the costs of tests done
either inside or outside of the hospital? 9. Please explain to me exactly
what you are going to do during this test before you start. 10. How long
will it take? 11. Can I expect any unusual feelings, pain, or sensations?
12. Will I need someone to drive me home after the procedure is over, or
will it be safe to drive myself? 13. What are the risks of this test, and how
often do they happen? Am I at particular risk? 14. Are there special
instructions to follow before or after this test? 15. Will I need to be seen
after the test is done? 16. Will you call me with the test results, and can I
get a copy of them for my personal records? 17. How will I know if a
complication is occurring? 18. What should I do if I experience a
complication? 19. Are there any side effects I should be concerned

Information for Hepatitis Patients Patients being treated for any condition
have many questions. Here are a few you more may want to ask.

1. Is there a possibility the diagnosis is incorrect? It does happen
occasionally you know. 2. Are there any tests (or additional) tests
available to confirm the diagnosis or to show the severity of the illness? 3.
What organs of my body are involved and in what way? Will the damage
to these organs be progressive? If the damage will be progressive, be
sure to ask the usual time course over which this occurs. Ask for
drawings and down-to-earth terms to help you better understand what is
going on with your body. 4. What other organs of my body can I expect to
become involved as a consequence of the illness? 5. What are the
possible ways I could have gotten this illness? 6. What are the
possibilities of my passing this illness on to others, and in what ways?
Should I worry about my family catching it? What about sexual
transmission? How can I minimize the risk to others? 7. What
complications am I at risk for and at what stage of the disease? 8. What
symptoms or change in symptoms should I be concerned about? You
need to gain some perspective on your illness and not become obsessed
with every little ache and pain or change in symptoms. Find out which
symptoms are important, and which you need to watch out for. 9. Are
there any organizations that can provide more information about my
illness or help with the problems that result from my disease?

There is a
national organization (in the U.S.) dealing specifically with liver disease
called Hepatitis C Outreach Project (

This organization can provide you with literature and
advice concerning your hepatitis. There may also be local support groups
which your doctor can direct you to. He may also know of certain medical
centers and research facilities who have compiled sources of information
about your disease or who can inform you of new or experimental

10. What medications are available to control the disease? Do
you ever conduct or can you refer me to someone who performs
experimental or research trials? 11. What are the risks and benefits of
taking this medication at this point in my illness? 12. If I am unable to
tolerate this medication or if it is ineffective, are alternative therapies
available? 13. How will I know if I am responding to treatment and how
long will I need treatment? 14. Is transplant an alternative at my stage of
the illness? Would you or when would you recommend it? 15. Are there
diet changes or other measures I can take to lessen the effects of the
disease? 16. How frequently do I need to be seen by a doctor? 17. How
do I contact you in an emergency? 18. Can I do any home monitoring of
my illness that might reduce the needfor office visits? 19. Will I be able to
continue working? 20. Can I expect to have to take many sick days? 21.
Will this illness affect my ability to obtain life or health insurance? 22.
Ask questions about the specific hobbies, sports, family and social
activities that the disease may have an effect on. 23. Will the drugs I am
taking interact with other medications or impair my ability to have sex?
24. What are your recommendations regarding alcohol, smoking,
aspirin/tylenol/motrin, other prescription or non-prescription drugs? 25.
Will the illness or the treatment interfere with my ability to have children?
26. Will the disease or the treatment be disfiguring? (Weight
gain/loss,hair loss, etc.)

I hope this helps,


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