A brown haired woman named Amanda Hopkins photographed wearing black, smiling for a photograph, following her liver tumor and treatment

With liver tumor gone, mother of two feels ‘like a new person’

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When a suspected case of kidney stones revealed a tumor on Amanda Hopkins’ liver, she chose a minimally invasive solution at Methodist Richardson Medical Center over the “wait and see” approach.

After all, it was the second time in five years that a CT scan turned up a benign growth for the 37-year-old mother of two from Garland. And once again, exhaustion and gastrointestinal problems were making her life miserable late last year.

“I never expected to hear ‘we found something’ for the second time,” says Amanda, who at age 32 had surgery to remove an ovarian cyst, discovered during surgery to correct a bad case of kidney stones.

Initially advised to watch and wait, Amanda sought a second opinion from Methodist Richardson. And she’s glad she did.

“I loved my care at Methodist Richardson,” she says. “I feel like a new person.”

A woman named Amanda Hopkins photographed with her two children, all wearing black shirts, following her liver tumor and treatment

Healthier than she’s been in years, Amanda says she finally has the energy to keep up with her kids.


Years ago, Amanda had a painful case of kidney stones that required doctors to place a stent to help them pass.

During that procedure, her surgeon found an ovarian cyst. The surgery to remove it led to the discovery and treatment of stage four endometriosis, a painful condition in which tissue that is similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside of that organ.

Five years later, Amanda felt a sense of déjà vu after learning she had a tumor the size of an apple on her liver, what’s known as a hepatocellular adenoma — generally benign tumors that form on the organ.

“My primary care physician wanted to take the standard ‘wait and see’ approach,” she says. “This meant I would have another MRI in six months to see if the tumors had grown before making a decision on whether or not they needed to be removed.”

Given her medical history, Amanda wasn’t comfortable with waiting.

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Amanda immediately knew she was in the right hands after one appointment with Joseph F. Buell, MD, general surgeon specializing in hepatobiliary and oncologic surgeries on the medical staff at Methodist Richardson.

At Dr. Buell’s recommendation, Amanda agreed to have the tumor removed. While the growth was benign, liver adenomas like hers have a significant risk for complications, including bleeding, rupture, and even the development of long-term cancer, Dr. Buell says.

“Decades ago, removing part of the liver wasn’t nearly as safe as it is today and that is how the ‘wait and see’ approach to liver adenomas became the standard,” Dr. Buell explains. “These days, liver resection is safe and can be done with minimally invasive technology.”

A woman named Amanda Hopkins photographed with her children, all wearing black shirts, and another person at a table

Feeling ‘like a new person’ means happier days with her kids and everyone else she cares about.


On Dec. 18, 2023, Amanda had the tumor and about a third of her liver removed by Dr. Buell and his partner Houssam Osman, MD, hepatobiliary surgeon on the medical staff at Methodist Richardson.

Performed laparoscopically, this minimally invasive approach meant a shorter hospital stay for Amanda, as well as a less painful recovery and lower complication rates.

“Her surgery was a success in more than one way,” Dr. Buell says. “Not only did we cure her of risky adenomas that were bigger than we thought, but we also discovered early stages of fatty liver disease, which, if left undetected, can lead to serious liver complications.”

Amanda again turned her life around and changed her diet and is losing weight to protect her health.

“I didn’t realize how bad I had been feeling for the last few years,” she says. “My bloodwork is great, my symptoms are gone and I finally have the energy to keep up with my kids and live my life.”