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Jun 30 2007

Most of 2006 and 2007

The majority of 2006 and 2007 were focused on managing the few symptoms I was having, particularly the itching. During 2007, I began having stents endoscopically placed in the common bile duct of my liver. Each time I had a stent placed, my doc would also take the time to sweep out any stray bile stones. Almost without exception these provided considerable, though short-term, relief.

In the beginning I had more than a little anxiety about the procedure. To be honest, anything that starts with “We’ll be placing a tube down your throat” tends to make me uneasy. But I’ve learned to view the stents as a good thing since their impact on my symptoms has been dramatic. The downside of the stents is that they have to be replaced every three months. Of the numerous stents that I had placed, I had complications only twice. One stent somehow slipped out of place a few weeks after being inserted, requiring an additional procedure to return it to its proper location. On another occasion, I ran a fever (103.7) and had to be hospitalized overnight. This was definitely not pancreatitis, but was very likely caused by the manipulation of the liver during the procedure.

In late 2007, I had a stent removed and did not replace it with a new one. This was something that my doc had attempted earlier in the year, since the stents can often cause the common bile duct to remain open on its own. The first time this didn’t work, but the second time it did, and I managed to enjoy most of 2008 stent-free. My symptoms had subsided for the most part, and I learned that I could easily tolerate two or three nights of itching a week without needing to return for a stent. I was also beginning to experience some discomfort (the classic “upper right quadrant” discomfort associated with PSC) but this too was only uncomfortable and not debilitating.

1 comment

  1. George Hurt

    Bill and Catherine, I just got the last email and went to the blog. My thoughts and prayers are certainly with you both. you know you have the prayers of all of the Centra family. It may be trite , but you know to call on me if there is anything I can do. George

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