What is FibroScan?
Traditionally, a biopsy is needed to help determine the severity of liver damage. However, a biopsy is an invasive procedure, which means that it carries more risks. The FibroScan test is a non-invasive, outpatient exam used to measure liver scarring (fibrosis) and fatty change (steatosis) caused by liver diseases. This fairly new technique uses ultrasound-based technology and is painless, quick and easy. It can be used alone or in conjunction with other tests that also measure scarring or fatty changes in the liver.
Your doctor may recommend that you undergo this testing if you have:
- Hepatitis B or C.
- Autoimmune hepatitis.
- Genetic diseases such as hemochromatosis.
- Alcoholic liver disease.
- Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).
How is FibroScan Performed?
During the FibroScan test, you will be asked to lay on your back with your right arm raised above your head. A special gel will be applied to the skin, and then the FibroScan probe will be placed on the right side of the rib cage. Small pulses of energy will be emitted to take measurements of the stiffness of your liver to give an indication of your overall liver health. A computer will analyze your test results, which will be given to your physician for review. This test commonly takes 15-30 minutes to complete.
Because this test is completely non-invasive, there is no downtime required. Patients can feel free to return home after FibroScan, as well as resume normal activities. If you have any questions regarding post-test symptoms or concerns, do not hesitate to reach out to our office.
How Can I Prepare for My Procedure?
Prior to your FibroScan, your doctor may ask you not to eat or drink for 3 hours before your test. You will also be asked to wear loose clothing to make the test easier to perform. Be sure to tell your doctor if you believe you might be pregnant, as this test should not be performed on pregnant women. This test should also not be performed on those with acute hepatitis, severe obesity, electronic implantable devices or fluid in the abdomen.
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At South Denver GI, our team of physicians and advanced practice providers have the expertise to provide you with outstanding care. If you would like to learn more about Fibroscan or need to schedule an appointment at our office, contact us today!
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