- What is a Liver Elastography Scan?
A liver elastography scan, also known as a liver fibroscan, is a non-invasive medical imaging test. It measures the stiffness of your liver tissue, which helps in assessing liver health, particularly the presence of fibrosis (scarring) or steatosis (fat buildup).
- How does the procedure work?
The procedure uses ultrasound technology and helps in assessing the degree of liver fibrosis, which is crucial for disease staging, monitoring disease progression, and determining appropriate treatment strategies in patients with chronic liver diseases.
- Who should get a Liver Elastography Scan?
This scan is particularly beneficial for individuals with conditions that may affect liver health, such as hepatitis, fatty liver disease, obesity, diabetes, excessive alcohol consumption, history of liver damage, liver transplant recipients, or those on long-term medication affecting the liver. However, it can be useful for anyone interested in monitoring their liver health.
- Is the scan painful?
No, the liver elastography scan is non-invasive and painless. You may feel slight pressure from the probe, but there should be no discomfort.
- How long does the scan take?
The scan is quick, typically taking only about 20 minutes.
- Do I need to prepare for the scan?
Yes, it’s best to fast for at least 6 hours before the scan for accurate results. Avoid eating or drinking anything except water during this period.
- Is there any risk involved in the procedure?
There are minimal to no risks associated with a liver elastography scan. It’s safe for most people, including pregnant women and individuals with implanted medical devices.
- How do I interpret the results?
The results will be given as a numerical value, indicating the level of stiffness in your liver. Higher numbers generally suggest greater liver stiffness. Your doctor will discuss the results with you and explain what they mean for your health.
- Can liver elastography replace a liver biopsy?
In many cases, it can. Liver elastography is a non-invasive alternative to liver biopsy for assessing liver stiffness. However, in some situations, your doctor may still recommend a biopsy for more detailed information.
- How often should individuals with chronic liver diseases undergo liver elastography?
The frequency of liver elastography scans for individuals with chronic liver diseases may vary based on their specific condition and the recommendations of their healthcare provider.