Assessing liver health: FibroScan®

A FibroScan® is a relatively new test that can reveal any fibrosis (stiffening) within the liver. It is a non-invasive test, so you do not need a biopsy or an injection. The Fibroscan® works using ultrasound and gives an immediate result.

What causes fibrosis?

All types of liver disease can lead to fibrosis:

  • Fatty liver disease
  • Liver damage due to alcohol abuse
  • Chronic viral hepatitis
  • Metabolic syndrome

Detecting fibrosis early provides an opportunity to change your lifestyle to prevent the fibrosis becoming more widespread and leading to more severe chronic liver disease.

Having a FibroScan® at The London Clinic

You do not need an anaesthetic or sedation; the FibroScan® is completely painless. It involves passing an ultrasound wave into the abdomen around the area of the liver while you lie on your back. A mechanical pulse at the surface of the skin passes through the liver creating an ‘elastic wave’. The whole procedure takes an average of 15 minutes.

There are similarities to a regular ultrasound, however the FibroScan® results show whether there are any regions of scarring and how stiff your liver is and the results are displayed as readings, rather than as an image.

Your scan will be performed by an experienced Specialist Liver Nurse who will be able to give you an immediate result and indication if this suggests liver damage. Ideally a Fibroscan is carried out in combination with a panel of liver blood tests and when all the results are available we can arrange a Consultation for you with a Hepatologist to discuss your results and any changes in lifestyle that are necessary.

Advantages of a FibroScan® :

  • No anaesthetic is needed as the scan is painless.
  • The FibroScan® is quick and provides instant results. You can go home straightaway.
  • Convenient and cost-effective.

How do I get a FibroScan®?

Many of our patients are referred by their GP but we also accept direct patient referrals. If you are self referring you will need to pay for the scan yourself at the appointment, if you are referred by a physician you may be covered by your medical insurance policy. In this case please check with your provider and obtain an authorisation code prior to attending.

You will need to check whether a FibroScan® is included in your medical insurance policy or choose to pay for the FibroScan® yourself.