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FibroScan® Services in Concord, NC

What is FibroScan®?

FibroScan®, also called transient elastography, is an accurate, non-invasive, painless aid for managing patients with liver disease.

FibroScan® works by emitting a pulse of energy, which you may feel as a slight vibration on your skin. FibroScan® then measures the speed of this energy and immediately provides this information to your physician, who then uses it as part of a broader evaluation of your liver health.

When is FibroScan® Needed?

FibroScan® is today’s latest technology for quickly and painlessly evaluating liver health. When performed as an overall evaluation, FibroScan® provides valuable information for healthcare providers that might otherwise only be available from a liver biopsy.

FibroScan® can help with the management of:

What to Expect About FibroScan

FibroScan® non-invasively measures the stiffness of your liver by capturing and calculating the speed of a shear wave as it travels through the liver. This detection of stiffness may be used as an aid in the clinical management of liver disease. During the scan, you will only feel a slight vibration on the skin at the tip of the probe.

You will lie on your back, with your right arm raised behind your head. The operator will apply a water-based gel to the skin and position the probe adjacent to your liver. The operator then scans your liver to capture 10 meaningful measurements made at the same location.

The result is delivered at the end of the examination as a number in “kilopascals” (kPa). Your doctor in our center in North Carolina will interpret the result in conjunction with other information from your overall examination.

How to Prepare for FibroScan® in Concord, NC

It is important to have your FibroScan® examination on an empty stomach. Do not eat or drink anything for at least 3 hours before your examination. Wear comfortable clothes that will allow access to the right side of your rib cage. It is important to tell your health care provider if you are pregnant, or if you have any active implantable devices, such as pacemakers, defibrillators, or pumps.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a Fibroscan uncomfortable?

No, the Fibroscan exam is painless and non-invasive. During measurement, you feel a slight vibration on the skin at the tip of the probe. It’s also easy and fast, usually taking 5 to 10 minutes.

How long does it take to get Fibroscan results?

FibroScan® provides immediate results to the operator. Your physician then interprets the result according to your history and underlying disease.

What is the liver? What does it do in the body?

The liver is the largest solid organ in the body, about the size of a football, weighing three to four pounds. The liver serves as the body’s filter and warehouse, with more than 1.5 quarts of blood pumping through it every minute. This allows the liver to effectively remove toxins and waste products from the bloodstream. It also acts as a warehouse to hold onto substances like vitamins, minerals, and glucose that the body will need later. The liver helps to manage cholesterol, hormones, and sugar. It also regulates fat storage and blood clotting factors.

Why have a FibroScan® exam?

A FibroScan® can help you and your healthcare provider understand your liver status and, when needed, create a care plan to support this vital organ.

What can harm the liver?

The liver can be harmed by factors such as excessive alcohol consumption, viral infections like hepatitis B and C, certain medications and toxins, fatty liver disease, some herbal and alternative remedies, autoimmune diseases affecting the liver, genetic disorders, poor diet, obesity, and exposure to certain chemicals:

Medications – Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is usually well tolerated at prescribed doses, but overdose is the most common cause of drug-induced liver disease and acute liver failure worldwide.
Some Herbal and Alternative Remedies – Blue-green algae, borage, bupleurum, chapparal, confrey, dong quai, germander, jun bu hua, kava mistletoe, pennyroyal, sassafras, shark cartilage, skullcap, and valerian.
Infections that Affect the Liver – Inflammation of the liver (Hepatitis). Common causes are the Hepatitis A, B and C viruses.
Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease – Fatty liver disease affects approximately 20 percent of the population worldwide and is commonly seen in people with diabetes and obesity. People with fatty liver disease may progressively damage their liver to an extent that requires a liver transplant.
Abuse of Alcohol – This most common cause of cirrhosis in the Western world represents one of the 10 most common causes of death.

What are the signs and symptoms of liver damage?

Symptoms of liver damage can include fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, fever, itchy skin, abdominal pain, jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin), dark urine, and pale stools.

If the liver sustains damage from any cause, normal liver tissue can become:
Fatty (steatosis)
Fibrous (fibrosis)
Scarred (cirrhosis)

Can a FibroScan detect liver cancer?

Yes, a FibroScan can detect liver cancer indirectly by assessing liver stiffness, which can be elevated in the presence of liver fibrosis or cirrhosis, conditions that may increase the risk of liver cancer. However, a FibroScan cannot directly diagnose liver cancer; additional imaging tests and biopsies may be needed for confirmation.

How long does a FibroScan take?

A FibroScan procedure usually takes about 10 to 15 minutes to complete. It is a quick and non-invasive test that involves placing a probe on the skin's surface over the liver area.

What does a FibroScan show?

A FibroScan provides information about liver stiffness, which is an indirect measure of liver fibrosis or scarring. It can help assess the degree of liver damage and determine the stage of liver disease, such as mild, moderate, or severe fibrosis.

Do you have to fast for a FibroScan?

Fasting is not typically required for a FibroScan. However, it's advisable to follow any specific instructions provided by your healthcare provider before the procedure, which may include dietary restrictions or fasting for certain individuals.

How accurate is a FibroScan?

FibroScan has been shown to have high accuracy in detecting significant liver fibrosis and cirrhosis compared to liver biopsy, the gold standard for liver disease assessment. However, its accuracy may vary depending on factors such as patient characteristics and operator experience.

Can FibroScan results be wrong?

While FibroScan is a reliable tool for assessing liver stiffness and fibrosis, factors such as operator technique, patient characteristics, and underlying liver conditions may influence the accuracy of the results. In some cases, additional testing or clinical evaluation may be needed to confirm the findings.

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Northeast Digestive Health Center
1070 Vinehaven Drive NE
Concord, North Carolina 28025
Phone: (704)783-1840
Fax: (704)783-1850
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