What Is the FibroScan® Test and What Can It Do?
In the past, the common method of determining liver health was through a surgical liver biopsy. Thanks to advancements in the health field, providers can assess the state of the liver through a simple, nonsurgical ultrasound procedure called FibroScan. At Connecticut GI, our team of GI specialists offers this quick and effective exam to review liver health and help you maintain general wellness. For more information about FibroScan testing and how it might benefit your health, contact one of our locations throughout Connecticut.
What is FibroScan?
The FibroScan test is a liver elastography procedure that uses ultrasound technology to discover damage to the liver. This straightforward exam can detect liver scarring and stiffness. Liver scarring, known as liver fibrosis, may develop from excessive alcohol consumption, a high-fat diet, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other factors. Liver scarring may progress to cirrhosis, the term for severe scarring of and damage to the liver. The late stages of cirrhosis may lead to fatigue, weight loss, yellowing of the skin and eyes, liver cancer, and ultimately liver failure. This makes caring for your liver essential to your health.
Where a liver biopsy generally requires sedation, an invasive procedure, and several hours of time, a FibroScan test can often be completed within about ten minutes. This exam involves little to no discomfort, and you can usually resume normal activities once finished.
Why is FibroScan necessary?
Due to the many concerns associated with damage to the liver, it is crucial to take your liver health seriously. This is where FibroScan testing can help. Once the FibroScan exam is complete, our Connecticut GI specialists can utilize this information to confirm and monitor liver issues, such as:
- NAFLD (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease)
- NASH (non-alcoholic steatohepatitis)
- Hepatitis B or C
- Alcohol-related liver diseases
In addition, we can also evaluate the extent to which liver damage has progressed. This information helps us develop a unique treatment plan to address your specific needs.
How long can it take to get FibroScan results?
A secondary advantage of the FibroScan test is that results are often ready within 1 – 2 days, whereas the results of a liver biopsy might take up to two weeks. With FibroScan, you can receive your results earlier, allowing you to start any necessary treatment more quickly.
Once your results are ready, our GI team will reach out via phone or schedule an in-person appointment to explain your results. We can help you understand your exam results and what the findings mean for your liver and general health.
Can liver damage be reversed?
If the test results reveal that liver damage has occurred, there are certain things you may do to help reverse the damage or prevent further damage from occurring. Steps to enhance the health of your liver may involve:
- Exercise daily
- Cut out alcohol use
- Follow a diet low in fat and high in fiber
- Lose weight if needed
- Work with your team of doctors to change medications as needed
Schedule a FibroScan exam in Connecticut
A good way to prevent medical issues is by taking control of your overall health. By undergoing easy, relatively painless exams such as FibroScan, you can understand your liver health and make key changes before additional damage occurs. At Connecticut GI, our providers are proud to offer this innovative liver biopsy alternative. Get in touch with a Connecticut location near you to request a consultation.