What Is FibroScan® Used For? How Does It Work?
In past years, the ideal way to evaluate liver health was through a biopsy. Due to today’s technological advances, doctors can assess the state of the liver through a relatively simple, nonsurgical ultrasound procedure called FibroScan. At Digestive Health Specialists, our GI specialists provide this quick and valuable examination to review your liver health and help maintain your general wellness. To learn further details on FibroScan testing and how it might help you, reach out to one of our practice locations in Kansas City, MO.
What is the FibroScan test?
The FibroScan test is a liver elastography procedure that uses ultrasound technology to measure liver damage. This straightforward test can identify liver scarring and stiffness of the liver. Liver scarring, also called liver fibrosis, may arise from factors like excessive alcohol use, a high-fat diet, type 2 diabetes, being medically obese, and more. Liver scarring can result in cirrhosis, which is extreme scarring of and damage to the liver. Later stages of cirrhosis can lead to unintended weight loss, yellowing of the skin and eyes, fatigue, cancer of the liver, and possibly liver failure.
Where a liver biopsy requires sedatives, an invasive procedure, and hours of your time, a FibroScan test can be completed within about ten minutes. FibroScan is generally a comfortable process, and you can get back to your daily routine once the exam is finished.
Why is FibroScan testing important?
Due to the concerning effects of liver damage, it is important to prioritize the health of this organ. This is where FibroScan comes in. Through the FibroScan process, our Kansas City, MO gastroenterologists can review and use the data to diagnose and track a variety of liver issues, including:
- Hepatitis B or C
- Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH)
- Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)
- Alcohol-related liver diseases
In addition, we may also assess the degree to which any liver damage has developed. Such information helps us create a treatment plan to meet your specific health needs.
How long does it take to get FibroScan test results?
Another advantage of FibroScan is that the findings are available within 1 – 2 days. The results of a liver biopsy, on the other hand, can take about two weeks. Thanks to the FibroScan process, you can receive your exam results sooner, which could allow you to begin treatment more quickly.
After we review your results, our team of GI providers will contact you or schedule a visit to explain your FibroScan test results. Our team will explain your exam results and discuss what they mean for your liver and general health.
Can liver damage be reversed?
If your test results indicate damage to your liver, there are several things you can do to help reverse it or defend against further damage. Steps you might take to optimize your liver health include:
- Eat a low-fat, high-fiber diet
- Work out every day
- Cut back on alcohol consumption
- Work with your doctors to swap out medications if needed
- Lose weight if you are overweight
Schedule a FibroScan in Kansas City, MO
An effective way to avert medical issues is to take control of your health. By undergoing effective and efficient procedures such as FibroScan, you can learn about your liver health and make any necessary changes before more damage occurs. Our GI providers are pleased to offer this state-of-the-art liver biopsy alternative at Digestive Health Specialists. Contact one of our Kansas City, MO locations to learn how FibroScan might help you.