Liver scan technology – the key to spotting early health warnings
Your liver plays an extremely important part in your overall health – but how many people actually get theirs checked regularly?
The liver is a hard-working organ that filters blood from your digestive tract. One of its functions is to metabolise alcohol – in other words, making it less harmful to the body by removing it from your bloodstream.
However, the liver isn’t invincible and long-term over-indulgence can damage this essential organ.
That’s why it’s worth checking out the state of your liver, just as you might any other important part of the body. And if there is a problem, the sooner you can act to prevent irreversible damage.
Moonee Valley Specialist Centre is the only private practice in Victoria to offer liver scan using a FibroScan® 502 Touch device without long wait times or the need for a GP referral.
What is a liver scan?
A liver scan uses the specialised FibroScan® 502 Touch machine to measure fibrosis (scarring) and steatosis (fatty) in your liver. Fatty change is when fat builds up in your liver cells.
A liver scan is similar to having an ultrasound scan. However, instead of using high-frequency sound waves to create a picture like an ultrasound, liver scan uses a series of short, pulsed, low-frequency sound waves to measure liver stiffness as wear as sheer wave elastography (or vibration waves). The result is displayed as a number, or score, rather than a picture, which tells you how much liver scarring you have and how much fat. There is often a strong correlation between higher fat scores and higher fibrosis scores (although not always) . Fibrosis is measured in kPa (Kilopascals) whilst steatosis is measured in CAP (Controlled Attenuation Parameter).
Why would you need a liver scan?
A liver scan will show your how healthy your liver is. It can also tell the doctor or nurse how much damage there is. It is a reliable staging tool for physicians to minimise patient risk and is often used instead of liver biopsy or to decide if a liver biopsy is in fact appropriate. It is certainly a much less painful procedure than a biopsy, and hence a preferred method.
What will it find?
The reading may be used to:
- estimate the existing degree of liver damage
- monitor disease progression or regression via serial measurements
- guide prognosis and further management, including treatment.
Which diseases does it test?
FibroScan® 502 Touch has been validated for assessment of severity and long term monitoring in most liver diseases including:
- Alcohol related liver disease
- Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD or NASH) now known as Metabolic Associate Fatty Liver Disease (MAFLD)
- Hepatitis B and C
- Advanced fibrosis
- Autoimmune hepatitis
- Cholestatic liver disease (PBC and PSC)
- Drug related liver disease
- Alcohol related Disease
- HIV/HCV Coinfection
- Cholestatic Disease
Who would benefit from a liver scan?
- If you have known liver disease (see above)
- If your liver function tests (LFTs) are abnormal
- If you sometimes drink a bit too much alcohol
- If you are on medications that might affect the liver
- If you have or are suspected of having haemochromatosis
- If you have a fatty liver
- If you are overweight
How much does it cost?
Currently there is no MBS rebate for a liver scan. The fee for this procedure is $180.
There are very few machines available and waiting time through the public hospital can be up to 6 months or longer, depending on your category on triage.
Why choose Moonee Valley Specialist Centre for your liver scan?
Liver scan is run by Nicole Starbuck-Connelly and supported by Dr Nathan Connelly, a leading and highly respected liver specialist (hepatologist) and gastroenterologist. Based in Essendon, Nicole and Nathan have more than 40 years of combined experience as a specialist.
After your scan, Nicole will discuss your result and what action may be needed in relation to your liver health. She will discuss seeing a specialist only if this is indicated. Results will be immediately available.
What is the process?
A liver scan at Moonee Valley Specialist Centre is a painless procedure similar to an ultrasound and takes about 10minutes. It allows our liver specialists, Nicole and Dr Nathan Connelly, to determine whether disease such as hepatitis has scarred the patient’s liver. It does this by measuring any stiffness (or scarring) of the organ, which is known as fibrosis.
Liver Scan Melbourne
A liver scan at Moonee Valley Specialist Centre is a painless procedure similar to an ultrasound that allows our liver specialist, Dr Nathan Connelly to determine whether disease such as hepatitis has scarred the patient’s liver. It does this by measuring any stiffness (or scarring) of the organ, which is known as fibrosis.
Please watch the video below for a detailed explanation on how a liver scan with the FibroScan® 502 Touch works.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some commonly asked questions about the liver scan procedure. If you can’t find the answer to your question below, you can request a call back from our staff here.
Do I Need a Referral?
No, you do not. A liver scan is a self-referred procedure.
What Do I Need to Bring to My Appointment?
You could bring someone from your family or a friend to the centre. However, they would not be allowed into the procedure room
How Long Will It Take?
A liver scan procedure itself takes approximately 10 mins. If an appointment with Dr Connelly is required, this will be booked separately.
What If I Need to Reschedule or Cancel My Appointment?
Please call our friendly staff on 03 9372 0372. There are no cancellation fees.
Is There Any Prior Preparation Before a Liver scan?
Please ensure you have nothing to eat, drink, smoke or chew for a minimum of 4 hours prior to your procedure to avoid having to repeat the scan. You may have water up until the procedure.
Book Your Appointment Today
If you are looking for a “hepatologist near me”, then you’re in luck as Moonee Valley Specialist Centre is the only private clinic in Victoria to possess a FibroScan® 502 Touch. Our experienced specialist team of nurses and hepatologist in Melbourne will walk you through the entire process and give you a thorough breakdown of the results and recommended next steps.
Established in 2011, Moonee Valley Specialist Centre has provided outstanding patient care outcomes for 10 years and is dedicated to your comfort and satisfaction. Our friendly reception team is available from 9:00am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday to answer any questions or concerns you may have.