Preparing for your appointment

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 hemangiomas 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 a 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?
  • Are there brochures or other printed material that I can take with me? What websites do you recommend?
  • Should I 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?
Sept. 03, 2016
References
  1. Feldman M, et al. Hepatic tumors and cysts. In: Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, Management. 10th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2016. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed July 7, 2016.
  2. Benign liver tumors. American Liver Foundation. http://www.liverfoundation.org/abouttheliver/info/benigntumors/. Accessed July 7, 2016.
  3. Sachs TE, et al. Cavernous hepatic hemangioma. In: Current Surgical Therapy. 11th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2014. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed July 7, 2016.
  4. EASL Clinical Practice Guidelines on the management of benign liver tumours. Journal of Hepatology. In press. Accessed July 7, 2016.
  5. Cappell MS. Hepatic disorders during pregnancy. In: Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2017. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed July 7, 2016.
  6. Picco MF (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 25, 2016.