Hepatic Arteriogram minus the Angioplasty

Hepatic ArteriogramThis has been another interesting experience in the world of UPMC Doctors and procedures. Thursday night Litsa and I left to drive down to Pittsburgh, and as always we leave right around dinner time and I always wind up getting to eat to poo on the way, stopping across the street from the Prison in Marienville at the Red Apple, at least their little pies were fresh. The trip was made more adventurous by the fact that I think my immunosupression has made one of my root canals go all wonky, and that has been giving a more than small amount of pain too.

Before I ramble on too much, I was told I was staying the night here at UPMC, so we got the kids situated and everything lined up to come home on Saturday. Then Friday morning came along and while I was laying on the table and the Doctor decided it was best to not to balloon the artery simply because of the kink in it; which you can plainly see in the picture of my Hepatic Artery from the Angiogram. I talked with him about the risks of and of not having the Angioplasty, and even covered possibly putting in an arterial stent. The problem is that it’s the tight turn causing the flow issues, not a Stenosis, or scarring. So we are back to the waiting. I have to say though, this was an excellent Doctor – and he was very frank in our conversation; which is always preferred.

I will have a regular Utrasound(every other month), and just hang back and see what happens. This is good news and bad news I guess. The good news is there is good pressure and decent flow within the artery, so my numbers are steady and liver function in great. The bad news is that if the Artery occludes, I lose the liver. Naturally I was a bit drugged when we talked(why do all Doctors do this? Even when you come out of surgery or a procedure with heavy sedation…), so I didn’t get a chance to talk to him coherently about some other questions I have – but he emailed me the photo above so I think I will email him back:

  •  Is here a reason why the artery wasn’t shortened during the transplant?
  • Is vascular surgery an option?

There will probably be a couple more questions added to the list by the end of today when Litsa and I get home. All in all, I think it was a good visit, and I am happy with the general prognosis of “wait and watch”, but I’m not a huge fan of uncertainty where my life is involved….