What is the FibroScan® Test Used for and What Can It Do?
In years past, the primary way to evaluate the health of the liver was through a biopsy. As a result of progression in the field, providers can now assess the state of the liver through a straightforward, nonsurgical ultrasound procedure called FibroScan. At Texas Digestive Disease Consultants, our gastroenterologists provide this quick and valuable examination to evaluate liver health and help patients manage their overall health and wellness. For detailed information about FibroScan testing and how it might help determine the health of your liver, please contact one of our locations throughout Texas.
What is the FibroScan test?
The FibroScan test is a liver elastography process that relies on ultrasound technology to discover liver damage. This simple exam can establish whether there’s liver scarring and stiffness in the liver. Liver scarring, known as liver fibrosis, can arise from excessive alcohol use, a high-fat diet, type 2 diabetes, being overweight or obese, and other factors. Liver scarring may lead to cirrhosis (severe damage and scarring of the liver). The late stages of cirrhosis can cause fatigue, weight loss, yellowing of the skin and eyes, liver cancer, and eventually liver failure, all of which make caring for your liver essential.
While a liver biopsy may require sedatives, an invasive procedure, and several hours of time, the FibroScan test can usually be completed in about ten minutes. FibroScan generally causes little to no discomfort, and often, you can get right back to your normal, everyday schedule once the test is finished.
Why is the FibroScan test important?
Because of the serious ramifications affiliated with liver damage, it is crucial to take your liver health seriously. This is where FibroScan comes in. After finishing the FibroScan process, our Texas gastroenterologists can utilize the results to detect and monitor liver issues, including:
- NAFLD (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease)
- Alcohol-related liver diseases
- NASH (non-alcoholic steatohepatitis)
- Hepatitis B or C
FibroScan can also help our team appraise the degree to which any liver damage has progressed. This information lets us assemble a treatment regimen tailored to your needs.
How long will it take before I get my FibroScan results?
A secondary advantage of FibroScan is that the results are often available in just a few days. With a liver biopsy, it might take up to two weeks to receive the results. By using FibroScan, we can generally provide results relatively quickly, which could allow you to begin treatment earlier.
Once your results are ready, our GI team will get in touch or meet with you to talk about your FibroScan outcomes. Our team can help you understand your exam results and what the findings mean for your liver and overall health.
Can liver damage be reversed?
If your results suggest liver damage, there are a variety of things you may do to help reverse it or prevent new damage from developing. Some simple steps you could take to boost the health of your liver could include:
- Lose weight if you are overweight
- Exercise every day
- Reduce alcohol consumption
- Start a high-fiber, low-fat diet
- Work with your doctors to change medications if necessary
Request a FibroScan in Texas
A good way to prevent medical issues is by taking control of your health. By undergoing simple, virtually painless tests like the FibroScan, you can understand your liver health and possibly make changes before more damage occurs. At Texas Digestive Disease Consultants, our providers proudly offer this modern liver biopsy alternative. Schedule an appointment at one of our Texas locations near you for more information.