Liver Transplant Cholangiocarcinoma Treatment


I started feeling real bad and went to see my primary care physician. They did some blood tests and some of the tests were elevated, as far as the liver was concerned. They told me that I needed to see a surgeon over in Lawrenceville. I went over there and he referred me to Emory. I had never gone to Emory before, until this occurred.

I came to Emory and everyone was really nice. They answered all of my questions directly, which I really appreciated. They ran some tests and found out that I had cirrhosis of the liver, and possibly cancer in the gall bladder and drainage ducts of the liver.

After that, there was a whole series of tests and numerous doctors. They eventually determined that I did have cancer in the gall bladder, so I went through 6 weeks of intensive radiation and chemotherapy, which was not fun but it was not as bad as I’d envisioned it would be.

I finally came to the Emory Transplant Center and met Dr. Hewitt and the transplant team. They took a needle biopsy of the tumor but it was in a very hard to reach place and they were scared that if they punctured it, it might spread. So they put me on the transplant list and told me that my liver was in bad shape. They didn’t know how much longer it was going to function.

I was always glad to see Dr. Hewitt come by because I knew that things were going to be all right. I just had confidence in him.

I received a liver transplant on August 26, 2009 and spent a week recovering in the hospital. Later, Dr. Hewitt told me, “It’s a good thing that the liver worked because you didn’t have much longer to live.”

If I had to advise somebody where to go to have an operation or to be checked out, it would be Emory. They had an answer for every question that I could think of and on top of that, they’re real nice about telling you about it. They really want to help you out.

Carvie Freeman, 62, Gwinnett County, GA