Providing compassionate, patient-centered gastroenterology care to the Greater Piedmont Triad area.

Fibroscan and Liver Health

What does the liver do?

The liver belongs to the digestive system. It has three main functions that are essential to your overall health:

  1. Cleans your blood
  2. Produces a liquid that is important for digestion, called bile
  3. Stores energy in the form of a sugar called glycogen

What is FibroScan?

FibroScan is a non-invasive technology tool that provides a quick assessment of liver stiffness and fat by measuring pulses of energy that are generated by the device. It is used along with other tests to assess a patient’s liver health as well as rule out the need for further, more invasive testing.

Generally speaking, GI providers often use FibroScan to:

  • Assess the overall health of the liver
  • Aid in diagnosing and monitoring liver conditions
  • Identify scarring of the liver

What is the exam like?

The exam is performed in an office exam room by a trained operator. During the exam, the patient lies on their back with their right arm above their head and their right leg crossed over their left leg, which helps to open their rib spaces for best access to the area of one’s liver. Gel is applied to the area and a probe is placed on the skin between the rib spaces. The device will send pulses of energy through your liver. While the process is painless, patients may feel a slight vibration. The exam lasts approximately 5-10 minutes. The device graphs the results for the doctor to read.

When is a FibroScan test recommended?

There are many factors that play a role in a provider recommending a FibroScan exam. Examples may include symptoms of a potential problem with one’s liver, a previous diagnosis of liver disease, or family history of liver disease.

As with any procedure, testing is ordered at the discretion of one’s healthcare provider. A consultative visit would likely be required to determine if FibroScan is right for the patient. Additional information can be found here.

Share it with the world