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Follow up appointments

You usually have follow up appointments every few months to check how you are and see whether you have any problems or worries. The appointments also give you the chance to raise any concerns you have about your progress.

How often you have check ups

This depends on your condition and the treatment you have had.

If you have had surgery to remove part of your liver (liver resection), you will probably see your surgeon once a month for 3 months, and then every 3 to 6 months after that.

After a liver transplant, you may see your liver specialist:

  • weekly for 6 weeks
  • every 2 weeks for the next 3 months
  • once a month for the next 6 months
  • then every 3 months after that

This is just an example. Your doctor will work out your follow up schedule according to your particular needs.

What happens

Your doctor or nurse examines you at each appointment. They ask how you are feeling, whether you have had any symptoms or side effects, and if you are worried about anything.

You might also have tests at some visits.

You'll probably have a blood test for the marker AFP at every visit if you've had a hepatocellular cancer (HCC). You may also have blood tests that measure how well your liver is working (liver function tests). Other tests may include:

  • CT scans
  • MRI scans 
  • ultrasound scans
  • x-rays

You won't have all these tests at every visit to your specialist. They may only arrange scans if you have a new symptom or if there's something specific that needs checking. After liver surgery, it's usual to have a CT scan or an MRI scan every year.

Between appointments

Contact your doctor or specialist nurse if you have any concerns between appointments. You should also contact them if you notice any new symptoms. You don’t have to wait until your next visit.
Last reviewed: 
11 Dec 2018
  • EASL Clinical Practice Guidelines: Management of hepatocellular carcinoma
    European Association for the Study of the Liver
    Journal of Hepatology, 2018. Volume 69, Pages 182-236

  • Hepatocellular carcinoma: ESMO Clinical Practice Guidelines for diagnosis, treatment and follow up
    A Vogel and others
    Annals of Oncology, 2018. Volume 29, Supplement 4, Pages 238-255