Preparing for your appointmentBy Mayo Clinic staff
The majority of liver hemangiomas are discovered during a test or procedure for something else. If it's thought that you have a liver mass, you may be referred to a doctor who specializes in the digestive system (gastroenterologist) or one who specializes in the liver (hepatologist).
Because appointments can be brief, and because there's often a lot of ground to cover, it's a good idea to be well prepared. Here's some information to help you get ready, and what to expect from your doctor.
What you can do
- Be aware of any pre-appointment restrictions. At the time you make the appointment, be sure to ask if there's anything you need to do in advance, such as restrict your diet.
- Write down any symptoms you're experiencing. Most people with liver hemangioma don't have any signs or symptoms.
- Make a list of all medications, as well as any vitamins or supplements you're taking.
- Take a family member or friend along. Sometimes it can be difficult to absorb all the information provided during an appointment. Someone who accompanies you may remember something that you missed or forgot.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor.
Your time with your doctor is limited, so preparing a list of questions will help you make the most of your time together. List your questions from most important to least important in case time runs out. For liver hemangioma, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What is the size of my liver hemangioma?
- Do I have one liver hemangioma or multiple hemangiomas?
- Is my liver hemangioma growing?
- What additional tests do I need?
- Do I need treatment for my liver hemangioma?
- What happens if I don't have treatment?
- What are the treatment options?
- Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take with me? What websites do you recommend?
- What will determine whether I should plan for a follow-up visit?
- Are there medications that may worsen my hemangioma?
In addition to the questions that you've prepared to ask your doctor, don't hesitate to ask questions during your appointment at any time.
- Di Bisceglie AM, et al. Tumor and cysts of the liver. In: Feldman M, et al. Sleisenger & Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, Management. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-6189-2..X0001-7--TOP&isbn=978-1-4160-6189-2&about=true&uniqId=229935664-2192. Accessed Nov. 15, 2010.
- Curry MP, et al. Hepatic hemangioma. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Nov. 15, 2010.
- Your liver. Your life. American Liver Foundation. http://www.yourliver.org/Liver-Wellness-Presentation.pdf. Accessed Nov. 16, 2010.