If your last visit to the doctor uncovered concerns regarding your liver, you may have heard the term "FibroScan". But what is a FibroScan, and what can you expect during this procedure? In this article, we'll explore the reasons why your doctor may recommend a Fibroscan, as well as what you can expect during and after the procedure.
How do FibroScans work?
A FibroScan is a non-invasive diagnostic tool used to assess the health of your liver. It uses ultrasound technology to measure the stiffness of your liver tissue. A stiffer liver is usually indicative of liver damage.
During the procedure, the doctor will place a small probe on your skin. The probe then emits ultrasound waves that pass through your liver. A computer measures the waves as they bounce back and uses this information to calculate the stiffness of your liver tissue. The entire procedure usually takes about 10 minutes.
Why would my doctor order a FibroScan?
There are many reasons why your doctor may recommend a FibroScan. In most cases, the test is ordered when liver damage is suspected but the cause is unknown. The FibroScan can help to rule out or confirm certain conditions, such as:
FibroScans can also be used to routinely monitor the progression of liver disease and adjust treatments if necessary. If you have been diagnosed with a liver condition, your doctor may use FibroScans to check for signs of improvement or deterioration.
How do I read my FibroScan results?
When you get your test results back, your doctor will often explain it to you, but here's a quick recap. Your results will be separated into two results: "liver stiffness score" and "controlled attenuation parameter", commonly referred to as CAP.
A liver stiffness score of less than 6 kPa is considered normal. A score of 6 kPa to 10 kPa indicates mild liver damage, while a score greater than 10 kPa suggests moderate to severe liver damage.
Your CAP score reflects the amount of fat in the liver and is used to determine the extent of steatosis. A score of 5% or lower is considered healthy, while a score of over 66% is severe. A mild fatty liver is over 5% but less than 33%, while a moderate fatty liver is over 34% but less than 66%. An elevated CAP result demonstrates a more advanced degree of steatosis and a more serious stage of fatty liver disease.
It's important to keep in mind that a FibroScan is just one tool used to assess liver health. In some cases, additional testing may be needed to confirm the results of a FibroScan.
How do I reduce my Fibroscan score?
If your FibroScan score is high, it's important to take steps to protect your liver. Some lifestyle changes that can help reduce liver damage include:
- Cutting back on alcohol consumption
- Eating a healthy diet
- Exercising regularly
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Avoiding exposure to toxins
If you have been diagnosed with a liver condition, your doctor will likely recommend additional treatment options. These may include medications, lifestyle changes, and in some cases, surgery.
A FibroScan is a quick and painless way to assess the health of your liver. If your doctor suspects that you may have liver damage, this test can help to confirm or rule out a diagnosis. In most cases, a FibroScan is a safe and effective way to check for signs of liver disease.
Northeast Digestive can help
Northeast Digestive is proud to offer FibroScans to our patients. This non-invasive test is a quick and easy way to evaluate liver health, and it can be performed right in our office. If you have any questions about FibroScans or would like to schedule an appointment, please don't hesitate to contact us. We would be more than happy to answer any of your questions.