It’s one of the most vital organs in the human body: the liver. It performs an estimated 400 essential bodily functions each day and is responsible for keeping the human body healthy. But unfortunately, more than 30 million Americans suffer from chronic liver disease, which can have a detrimental or even fatal result.
Locally, liver disease ranks as one of the most diagnosed diseases at Trinity Health System. In response, Trinity is now using a new test called FibroScan that may be an even better tool than a biopsy for monitoring liver health. Trinity is the first in the region to offer this innovative and painless test.
Although a liver biopsy is typically the standard of care for diagnosing and staging chronic liver disease, it is sometimes associated with an increased risk of pain, excessive bleeding and infection. Now, the new FibroScan test available at Trinity Health System provides a non-invasive examination of the liver.
FibroScan uses Vibration Controlled Transient Elastography technology – often referred to as VCTE -- to measure liver stiffness. From this exam, physicians are able to see immediate results so they can safely and accurately treat each patient’s liver disease. To date, more than 1.5 million children, men and women have been diagnosed using the FibroScan. The device provides several advantages for patients including:
· Easy and fast scan times (15-20 minutes)
· Immediate results
· Painless and non-invasive exam
· Assessment may be safely repeated
Chronic liver disease discriminates against no one. It affects children, men and women of all ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds. It is attributed to various factors including genetics, viruses, unhealthy lifestyle choices, certain medications and pollutants. There are several types of chronic liver disease, with some of the most common being cirrhosis (scarred and stiff liver tissue), hepatitis (inflammation of the liver), and fatty liver disease (excessive accumulation of fat in the liver).
There is no cure for chronic liver disease. However, like many other conditions, disease management is the key to living a prolonged and relatively healthy life. Making lifestyle and diet changes may help prevent further liver damage and help control chronic liver disease. Additionally, there are many treatment options available like medication, surgery and liver transplants to aid in the management of liver health and preservation.
Treatment options are often determined by a physician and are based on the amount of damage to the liver. Specialists like gastroenterologists, infectious disease specialists and interventional radiologists use several methods such as blood tests, ultrasounds, liver biopsies and FibroScan to measure the extent of damage.
For more information about FibroScan, visit fibroscan502touch.com.