What Is the FibroScan® Test and How Does It Work?


In years past, the way to ascertain the state of the liver was by surgical liver biopsy. Thanks to today’s technological advancements, gastrointestinal (GI) providers can evaluate the state of the liver through a straightforward, nonsurgical ultrasound procedure known as FibroScan. At GI Alliance, our GI specialists perform this quick and valuable exam to assess liver health and help you protect your general health. For additional information about FibroScan testing and how it could help evaluate the health of your liver, contact a GI Alliance location near you.

What is FibroScan?

The FibroScan test is a liver elastography process that uses ultrasound technology to determine if there is any liver damage in a patient’s body. This simple exam can establish if there’s scarring or stiffness within the liver. Liver scarring, called liver fibrosis, can arise from excessive alcohol use, a diet high in fat, being overweight or obese, type 2 diabetes, and other factors. Liver scarring may lead to cirrhosis (excessive scarring and damage to the liver). Late stages of cirrhosis will often cause fatigue, unintended weight loss, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), liver cancer, and, in the end, liver failure. This makes caring for your liver vital.

While a liver biopsy typically requires sedation, an invasive procedure, and several hours of your time, a FibroScan test can usually be completed within ten minutes. The procedure involves virtually no pain and discomfort, and you can return to your normal routine once finished.

Why is FibroScan important?

Because of the repercussions affiliated with liver damage, it is imperative that you take your liver health seriously. This is where the FibroScan test comes in. After completing a FibroScan, our GI providers can use the data to diagnose and manage several liver issues, such as:

Additionally, we can evaluate the degree to which liver damage has occurred. This process enables us to develop a treatment plan for your unique needs.

How long does it take to get FibroScan test results?

Another advantage of FibroScan is that results are ready in just a few days. Liver biopsy results, however, might take around two weeks. With a FibroScan test, you can receive your exam results sooner, which may allow you to begin treatment more quickly.

After we review your results, our team of GI providers will contact you via phone or schedule an appointment in person to discuss your FibroScan test results. Our providers can help you understand your exam results and what they mean for your liver and overall health.

Can negative liver results be reversed?

If your results reflect liver damage, there are various things you can do to either reverse the liver damage or prevent further damage from occurring. Steps you can take to improve the health of your liver may include:

  • Exercise daily
  • Minimize alcohol consumption
  • Lose weight if you are overweight
  • Eat a low-fat, high-fiber diet
  • Work with your doctors to change medications as necessary

Schedule a FibroScan test near you

One way to prevent medical concerns is by taking control of your health. By undergoing simple, relatively painless tests like FibroScan, you can understand your liver health and make essential changes before further damage occurs. At GI Alliance, our team of providers proudly offers this cutting-edge liver biopsy alternative. Contact a location near you to get started.

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