Fibroscan® uses elastography, which is a technique similar to ultrasound, that measures the stiffness of your liver. It is a non-invasive, painless alternative to liver biopsy and is used by our multi-disciplinary team at the Princess Grace Hospital for looking at liver damage from conditions such as Hepatitis C. It can be performed quickly and easily by one of our consultant hepatologists or specialist nurses who will be able to use the results to assess your condition, together with the results of your blood tests and any other diagnostic procedures you may have.
During the procedure the Fibroscan® uses an ultrasound probe which emits a mechanical pulse at the surface of the skin, measuring the condition of the liver through sound waves. The data is analysed by a computer which displays a two-dimensional picture of the liver. The level of the fibrosis can be measured in relation to the stiffness of the liver – so the harder the liver is, the more serious the fibrosis is likely to be.
During the procedure you will be asked to lie on your back with your right arm raised behind your head. The procedure does not normally take more than fifteen minutes and you will be able to leave hospital directly afterwards. There is no need for an anaesthetic and there are no side-effects.