Preparing for your appointmentBy Mayo Clinic staff
Most 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).
Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment and to know what to expect from your doctor.
What you can do
- Be aware of any pre-appointment restrictions. When 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, vitamins and supplements you're taking.
- Take a family member or friend along. It can be difficult to remember all the information provided during an appointment. Someone who accompanies you may remember something you missed or forgot.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor.
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 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?
- Are my symptoms from the hemangioma?
Don't hesitate to ask any other questions you have.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, including:
- Have you had pain, nausea, loss of appetite or feelings of fullness after eating little?
- Have you been pregnant?
- Have you used hormone replacement therapy?
- 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 May 31, 2013.
- Curry MP, et al. Hepatic hemangioma. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 31, 2013.
- Benign liver tumors. American Liver Foundation. http://www.liverfoundation.org/abouttheliver/info/benigntumors/. Accessed May 31, 2013.
- Assy N, et al. Characteristics of common solid liver lesions and recommendations for diagnostic workup. World Journal of Gastroenterology. 2009;15:3217.