What is the FibroScan used for?
A FibroScan, also called transient elastography, is an ultrasound examination used to assess liver inflammation, without any invasive investigations.
This scan helps your doctor to identify:
- Fibrosis: scarring in your liver
- Liver stiffness: hardness of the liver related to liver scarring
- Fatty change: an abnormal build-up of fat in your liver
Steatosis: a condition caused by having too much fat in your liver
The FibroScan examination is quick and painless. It is carried out by a physiologist, using an ultrasound to generate an internal image of your liver.
FibroScan provides a comprehensive view of the liver's condition, enabling physicians to diagnose and track disease progression, while considering treatment and other contributing factors. The examination results play an important role in effectively monitoring and evaluating the impact of conditions like cirrhosis.
Preparing for your scan
Avoid eating or drinking anything for a period of three hours before your FibroScan. Small sips of water or clear fluids are acceptable, if necessary, but don’t consume large quantities.
Before the FibroScan, we will talk with you about the procedure and ensure your comfort with it. Feel free to ask us any questions you may have.
There is no need to undress for the scan. However, we recommend avoiding dresses as we need access to your abdomen for the examination.
During your scan
You will be asked to lie on an examination couch with your right arm placed above your head. The physiologist will gently feel your abdomen to locate the appropriate landmark for placing the probe.
A water-based gel is applied to the skin on the abdomen and a probe is firmly moved over and back around the area. Importantly, this device does not break the skin or require any insertion into the body.
The ultrasound creates soundwaves which pass through your skin to reach your liver and then bounce back, producing a sensation akin to a gentle flick against your skin. Rest assured, it should not cause any pain. These soundwaves create the images from the scan.
Typically, the entire scan takes about 5 to 10 minutes. Afterward, you can leave immediately and resume your regular activities without any delay.
Result of your scan
The result of the FibroScan will be sent to the doctor who referred you for the scan.
Health insurance information
Typically, the test may not be fully covered by most health insurance plans. However, you can still request reimbursement for medical expenses not covered directly by your health insurance under the outpatient/allowable expenses category. Additionally, you may be eligible to claim tax relief on these unreimbursed medical expenses when filing your Income Tax Return (PAYE).