What is a FibroScan, and how is it different from a liver biopsy?
Many different diseases can cause fibrosis (scarring) and steatosis (fatty changes) in your liver. It is essential for your treatment planning for your doctor to understand how much of your liver has been affected. While blood tests, CT scans, and basic ultrasounds can provide information about your liver function and detect abnormalities, more advanced testing such as a liver biopsy is typically required to determine the severity of liver damage. At Atlantic Gastroenterology in Brooklyn, New York, patients have a non-invasive alternative to a traditional biopsy: FibroScan.
What is a FibroScan, and how does it work?
FibroScan is a specialized ultrasound that is designed specifically for measuring fibrosis and steatosis in the liver. It generates scores that give your doctor precise information about the degree of fatty deposits and scarring in the liver and enables accurate care planning for your specific stage of liver disease. Lower FibroScan scores indicate lower levels of disease, whereas higher numbers indicate a greater degree of fibrosis and disease.
How FibroScan differs from a biopsy
A traditional liver biopsy is an invasive surgical procedure that requires anesthesia and has a recovery period with risks of serious complications. A FibroScan can provide much of the same information as a biopsy but is non-invasive and has no associated risk of infection, bleeding, or other complications. Additionally, FibroScan:
- Is pain-free
- Is typically more cost-effective for patients than a biopsy
- Takes only a few minutes to complete
- Requires no preparation beforehand or downtime afterward
- Is very accurate
- Can be used as an initial screening tool or to monitor the progression of the disease
Early intervention is key
If you have been avoiding testing for liver disease because you do not want to undergo a biopsy, a FibroScan is a painless and convenient way to get the care you need. Waiting to seek treatment for liver disease can lead to progressive worsening of the condition, and it can ultimately be fatal if left untreated. Dr. Shapsis and the team at Atlantic Gastroenterology provide compassionate, non-judgmental, personalized care. To schedule your appointment at our Brooklyn office, call 718 521-2840 today.
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