What Is FibroScan® Used for?
In the past, the method of determining the state of the liver was through a liver biopsy. Thanks to medical advancements, however, GI specialists can now often evaluate liver health with a simple, nonsurgical ultrasound test called FibroScan. At Utah Gastroenterology, our team of GI doctors provides this quick and effective process to assess liver health and help safeguard your general wellness. For more information about FibroScan testing and how it can help measure your overall liver health, contact one of our St. George or Salt Lake City, UT locations.
What is FibroScan?
The FibroScan exam is a liver elastography procedure that uses ultrasound technology to detect damage to the liver. This simple exam can identify and measure liver scarring and stiffness. Liver scarring, known as liver fibrosis, commonly arises due to excessive alcohol consumption, a high-fat diet, being overweight, type 2 diabetes, and other factors. Liver scarring can result in cirrhosis, which is extreme scarring and damage to the liver. The late stages of cirrhosis might lead to fatigue, unintended weight loss, jaundice, cancer of the liver, and, eventually, liver failure.
Where a liver biopsy typically requires some sort of sedation, an invasive procedure, and a few hours of your time, the FibroScan test can be completed in about ten minutes. The procedure involves virtually no pain or discomfort, and you can resume your typical routine afterward.
Why is FibroScan important?
Due to the various health concerns linked to liver damage, it is imperative to take your liver health seriously. This is where the FibroScan can help. After completing a FibroScan, our Utah GI specialists can review and use your results to detect and track liver issues like:
- Hepatitis B or C
- Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH)
- Alcohol-related liver conditions
- Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)
Additionally, we can also appraise the degree to which any liver damage has developed. This allows us to craft a unique treatment plan tailored to your needs.
How long can it take before I get my FibroScan results?
A secondary advantage of the FibroScan test is that the results are often available within a day or two. Liver biopsy results might take around two weeks, however. With FibroScan, you can have your results sooner than with alternative testing, which may allow you to start treatment earlier.
After your physician reviews your FibroScan results, our GI team will contact you via phone or meet with you to explain your exam outcomes. Our team will help you understand your results and what the findings mean for your liver health and general wellness.
What if my FibroScan results are unfavorable?
If your FibroScan results indicate damage to your liver, there are certain things you can do to help reverse the damage or defend against new damage. Steps you could take to improve your liver health may include:
- Work with your doctors to change medications as needed
- Lose weight as necessary
- Adopt a high-fiber, low-fat diet
- Avoid alcohol consumption
- Exercise daily
Request a FibroScan in Utah
One of the best ways to defend against medical issues is to take control of your overall health. Through simple, effective exams such as FibroScan, you can quickly understand your liver health so that you might make key changes before further damage occurs. At Utah Gastroenterology, our providers proudly offer this innovative liver biopsy alternative. Request an appointment at one of our locations in the Salt Lake City and St. George, UT areas to get started.