Today more than 30 million Americans suffer with chronic disease of one of the most vital organs in the human body – the liver. Performing an estimated 400 essential bodily functions every day, the liver is responsible for keeping the human body healthy. The liver’s exposure to chronic disease may not only make a person very ill but could have a fatal and detrimental impact on their life.
Chronic liver disease discriminates against no one, impacting children, men and women of all ethnicities and socio-economic backgrounds. Chronic liver disease is attributed to various things including genetics, viruses, unhealthy lifestyle choices, certain medications and pollutants. There are several types of chronic liver disease. Some of the most common types are Cirrhosis (scarred and stiff liver tissue), Hepatitis (inflammation of the liver), and Fatty Liver Disease (excessive accumulation of fat in liver).
There is no cure for chronic liver disease. However like many other conditions, disease management is a key to living a prolonged and relatively healthy life. Making lifestyle and diet changes may help prevent further liver damage and help maintain chronic liver disease. Additionally there are many treatment options available such as medication, surgery and liver transplant to aid in the management of liver health and preservation.
Treatment options are often determined by a physician and are based on the amount of damage to the liver. Specialist physicians known as Gastroenterologists, Infectious Disease Specialists and Interventional Radiologists use several methods such as blood tests, ultrasound, and liver biopsy to measure the extent of damage. Although liver biopsy is typically the standard of care for diagnosing and staging chronic liver disease, it is sometimes associated with increased risks of pain, excessive bleeding, and infection. In addition to liver biopsy there is a new test known as FibroScan that may be an even better tool for monitoring liver health.
The latest in non-invasive liver assessment
FibroScan is a non-invasive and painless examination of the liver. It uses a technology referred to as VCTE or Vibration Controlled Transient Elastography to measure liver stiffness. From this exam, physicians are able to see immediate results so that they can safely and accurately treat each patient’s liver disease. To date more than 1.5 million children, men and women have been diagnosed using the FibroScan. The device provides several advantages for patients which include:
· Easy and fast scan times: 15-20 minute scan times
· Immediate results
· Painless and non-invasive exam
· Assessment may be safely repeated
Where to find this cutting-edge FibroScan
Today, Dr. Gerald Grubbs, Interventional Radiologist and CEO of Sarasota Interventional Radiology performs FibroScan examinations. This device is only the third in the state of Florida to be installed and the first here on the Suncoast. Dr. Grubbs has partnered with local physicians to treat and monitor the health of hundreds of patients living with chronic liver disease in our community.
If you or someone you know have been diagnosed or suffer with chronic liver disease, please call 941-378-3231 for a consultation with Dr. Grubbs to see if you may be a candidate for the FibroScan. If you have any questions or need more information please visit Sarasota Interventional Radiology at www.sivr.net.