New Technology May Allow Less Invasive Alternative to Liver Biopsy
Patients who have been advised that a liver biopsy may be necessary are often fearful of the procedure. Pain is a frequently-cited concern, as is the (comparatively small) potential for site infection.
If you’ve been told you need a liver biopsy, you may wish to ask your doctor about Fibroscan technology. Also known as transient elastography, Fibroscan can accurately detect NAFLD (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease) using nearly painless ultrasound technology, according to clinics and offices that utilize it.
What is Fibroscan?
Fibroscan – also called transient elastography – is a less invasive diagnostic method than traditional liver biopsy, which consists of a small needle being introduced into the abdomen to remove a very small piece of liver tissue.
Instead, Fibroscan uses ultrasound (sound wave) technology to view the fat in the liver and measure its total quantity (less than 5% is the safety zone for the average individual; 5% or greater will generally mean a diagnosis of fatty liver disease).
Other Applications for Fibroscan
According to physicians, Fibroscan can also detect liver cirrhosis, hepatitis B and C, biliary liver disease and alcoholic liver disease.
FDA Clearance of Fibroscan
Fibroscan was approved in Europe well over a decade ago and has been used there since 2003.
In 2013 the U.S. approved Fibroscan for detecting conditions such as NAFLD.
Today, more and more clinics and doctor’s offices are offering the less painful but very accurate method of diagnosing fatty liver and other liver conditions.
How Much Does Fibroscan Cost?
Fibroscan may be covered or partially covered by your insurance program. Call your provider for details.
Nationwide the average cost of Fibroscan (without insurance) is approximately $7000.
We are not affiliated with the producers or marketers of Fibroscan or with any office that provides the procedure.
We recommend that you ask your doctor for more information or look at the NIH’s website for details.