What Is the FibroScan® Test and How Does It Work?
In years past, the way to determine the state of the liver was through a surgical liver biopsy. Because of advancements in the field, GI providers can now often monitor the health of the liver through a relatively simple, nonsurgical ultrasound technique called FibroScan. At Gastroenterology Consultants, our providers offer this quick and valuable exam to track your liver health and help safeguard your total wellness. For more information on FibroScan testing and how it can help measure your overall liver health, reach out to one of our Houston, TX locations.
What is the FibroScan test?
The FibroScan test is a liver elastography process that uses ultrasound technology to detect liver damage. This simple test can establish if there’s liver scarring or stiffness in the liver. Liver scarring, or fibrosis, can develop due to a high-fat diet, obesity, type 2 diabetes, heavy alcohol use, and other factors. Liver fibrosis can lead to cirrhosis, which is excessive damage to and scarring of the liver. Later stages of cirrhosis may cause weight loss, fatigue, jaundice, liver cancer, and, eventually, liver failure.
Where a liver biopsy typically requires an invasive procedure, sedation, and several hours of time, a FibroScan test is usually completed in about ten minutes. This procedure generally causes little to no discomfort, and you are able to resume your normal routine immediately following the exam.
Why is the FibroScan exam necessary?
Due to the serious complications associated with liver damage, it is vital to take your liver health seriously. This is where FibroScan is able to help. After a FibroScan, our Houston, TX GI specialists can use your results to identify and monitor liver issues, including:
- Diseases associated with excessive alcohol consumption
- Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)
- Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH)
- Hepatitis B or C
We can also appraise how far liver damage has escalated. This information allows us to create a treatment regimen for your health needs.
How long will it take to get my FibroScan results?
Another great benefit of FibroScan is that the results are often available in 1 – 2 days. Liver biopsy results may take about two weeks to receive. With FibroScan, you’ll receive your exam results sooner than with alternative testing, which could allow you to begin treatment right away.
When your results are ready, your GI specialist will contact you or schedule an appointment to explain your FibroScan test results. We can explain the results of your exam and discuss what the findings mean for your liver health and general wellness.
Is liver damage reversible?
If your test results imply damage to your liver, there are several steps you might take to reverse it or defend against further damage. These include:
- Exercise each day
- Eat a low-fat, high-fiber diet
- Reduce alcohol consumption
- Lose weight if needed
- Work with your doctor to swap out medications as necessary
Request a FibroScan in Houston, TX
An effective way to prevent medical issues such as liver damage is to take control of your health. With effective, efficient procedures such as the FibroScan, you can learn about your liver health and possibly make essential changes before additional damage happens. Our GI specialists are pleased to provide this advanced liver biopsy alternative at Gastroenterology Consultants. Get in touch with one of our Houston, TX locations today to start your health journey.