Liver scan new alternative to needle biopsy

Posted at: 12/03/2013 1:55 PM
By: Dr. Frank McGeorge, WDIV

Photo: WDIV

DETROIT (WDIV) -- A new machine called a Fibroscan is a timely and effective alternative to the traditional liver biopsy done with a long needle. 

Liver disease is on the rise and obesity causes more and more people to have a fatty liver. 

The Fiberoscan only takes about 15 minutes and feels like a thumb being stuck in your side. 

A normal liver is like firm Jello in a rubber glove. 

A diseased liver is more like an old fruit cake that's firm.

The new procedure sends sound into the liver causing it to vibrate.

because a diseased liver vibrates differently than a healthy liver the Fibroscan can determine not only abnormalities, but also the extend of the damage. 

Doctors predict the Fibroscam will eventually become the new standard, eliminating the painful needle test.