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Published on August 03, 2017

UHS’ scan replaces liver biopsy for many

A new, non-surgical device at UHS that measures fibrosis, or scarring of the liver, can replace needle biopsy in the diagnosis of a number of conditions.

UHS is the first hospital in the region to offer transient elastography, usually known by the brand name FibroScan, for routine testing in the management of chronic liver disease.

For the patient, the procedure is similar to undergoing a conventional ultrasound examination.

"The FibroScan is a complete, non-invasive method of assessing liver damage," said Leslie Bank, MD, a gastroenterologist with the UHS medical staff and Binghamton Gastroenterology Associates. "It's fast, easy, painless and conducted on an outpatient basis, offering a non-surgical alternative to traditional liver biopsy."

The device is approved by the Food and Drug Administration, and can be used successfully with about 95 percent of patients.

Doctors may recommend a FibroScan test for patients with such chronic liver conditions as cirrhosis or several types of hepatitis, as well as genetic illnesses such as hemochromatosis and Wilson’s disease.

The FibroScan, which uses a non-invasive probe placed over the liver, requires no sedation and usually takes about five minutes. Results are produced instantly.

The scan is covered by most forms of health insurance.

"We're excited to be the first provider in the community to offer this service," said Alec Grabowski, director of Digestive Health and Critical Care at UHS. "Patients will no longer have to travel out of town, such as to Rochester or New York City, for this service. And there's a top-tier physician group supporting it."

For more information, visit uhs.net. To schedule a FibroScan exam, call 867-5309 or discuss the test with your primary care provider.