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Revolutionary FibroScan technology arrives at The GI Unit

Hospital News

The GI Unit at The Hospital of St John & St Elizabeth is delighted to offer patients the very latest in liver scan technology, with the arrival of our new state-of-the-art FibroScan.

This revolutionary FibroScan is not only able to detect any potential damage or disease, but also accurately measure the amount of fat that is present in the liver at the same time.

A FibroScan is a risk fee, painless and non invasive method used to instantly evaluate changes in the liver. The scan can monitor the progression, stagnation or regression of an individual’s liver disease whilst now measuring ‘Steatosis,’ known as fat in the liver. It can give an accurate quantitative measure of the success of treatments or lifestyle modification. It has no restriction on the frequency of use and it’s completed within just ten minutes.

We sat down with Dr Patrick Kennedy Gastroenterlogist and Hepatologist Consultant and leading expert in liver disease at The GI Unit to learn more about the key benefits of FibroScan. Revealing how this simple test will not just be able to highlight and detect signs of liver disease, but also measure fat content in the liver, before conditions worsen.

What may prompt someone to have a Fibroscan?

A FibroScan is recommended for any patient with abnormal liver function tests or where there is a suspicion of liver disease. A good clinical history is often enough to identify risk factors for liver disease. For example, in patients who drink to excess and have normal liver function tests, there may be liver damage which is not reflected in the standard blood tests. It is well recognised that these blood tests can be normal in chronic liver disease or cirrhosis. Having fat present in the liver is caused by factors such as diabetes, obesity, or hepatitis treatments.

What does the scan look for?

There are two things to remember. FibroScan is a simple test that gives us not just information on liver fibrosis, also known as “scarring” but also measures fat in the liver, generating a CAP (Controlled Attenuation Parameter) score. The CAP score is a measurement of fatty change in the liver. Fatty change is when fat builds up in the liver cells. It’s a risk free test that’s non-invasive and can be performed in less than ten minutes.

What issues/conditions could the scan highlight and what would be the next step?

1. Liver fibrosis, also known as “scarring” is essentially liver damage.

If significant damage is detected, the patient will need specialist input to address the causes of the liver damage and manage the condition appropriately. In cases of no scarring or mild fibrosis only, lifestyle intervention is often enough to prevent the development of liver disease or avoid disease progression.

2. Fat present in the liver – CAP (Controlled Attenuation Parameter) score measurement. We have the ability to monitor changes with FibroScan.

Often with lifestyle intervention, over a period of time liver fat can be lowered or reversed completely.

Book a FibroScan at The GI Unit

The GI Unit uses state-of-the-art facilities and offers a Consultant led FibroScan service, meaning after undergoing the test you have the opportunity to discuss the results directly with your Specialist Consultant at the time of examination. We have a team of twelve world-leading Gastroenterologists, Upper and Lower GI Surgeons, Radiologists and Oncologists including Mr Patrick Kennedy who make up The GI Unit. To book a personalised appointment with a liver expert you can call us on 020 7078 3802 or email gi.unit@hje.org.uk

Flexible appointment times are available

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