Navigation

Liver Elastography

Fibroscan, a specialized form of ultrasound, a.k.a.ultrasound-based transient elastography, offers a safe, accessible and non-invasive procedural option for evaluating the ‘stiffness’ of the liver.

An accurate assessment of the liver’s transient elasticity allows practitioners to detect and evaluate various forms of liver disease such as fibrosis (scarring) and steatosis (fatty build up).

The sonographer employs an ultrasound probe to pulse the liver with low frequency sound waves (50mHz); stiffness or scarring is measured by the speed at which these waves are able to pass through the liver. In this way, practitioners are able to monitor and predict the stages of Fibrosis or scarring of the liver, along with the more advance cirrhosis, where scar tissue has resulted in distortions of structure and diminished function.

PATIENT INFORMATION AND PREPARATION

Special Instructions

  • Please refrain from smoking prior to the exam.
  • If you’ve had abdominal surgery in the past, including the removal of your kidney, spleen or gallbladder, be sure to let your sonographer know before commencement of the exam
  • Be sure to wear comfortable, lightweight clothes which provide easy access to the skin of the area to be examined
  • Please don’t eat or drink anything except water for at least 6 hours prior to your exam
  • Please arrive 15 minutes in advance
  • Please follow all your practitioner’s instructions and take all prescribed medications as directed

WHAT TO EXPECT DURING YOUR EXAM

  • You will be asked to lie down on a tilt-in-space examination table or bed
  • The sonographer may as that you shift position during the course of the exam, onto your sides or into a seated or standing position, in order for him/her to obtain the clearest sonographic images of the relevant internal organs
  • You will be asked to expose the skin of the area to be scanned
  • A warm, fragrance-free, hypoallergenic ultrasound gel will be applied to the skin of your abdomen
  • The sonographic transducer or probe will be moved over the lubricated surface of the front and sides of your abdomen, in order to gather imagery of the relevant organs
  • You will be asked to perform various breathing techniques in order to aid the image capturing process
  • You may experience a slight pressure while the images are captured
  • The sonographer may or may not invite your radiologist into the scanning room in order to discuss the results of your exam
  • You will now be free to leave

WHEN TO EXPECT THE RESULTS OF YOUR EXAM

Our radiologists will interpret your information and aim to forward the results to your doctor by the end of the next working day.

WHAT YOU’LL PAY FOR THIS PROCEDURE

This Ultrasound exam is covered under the Alberta Health Care Plan.