Title: Find out about possible liver damage using Fibroscan Technology in Bangkok, Thailand

Published: 16th August 2008
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The liver is the largest organ in your body and carries out many vital functions. Its responsibilities are, or example, digesting proteins and fats, removing toxins from your body, producing chemicals that stop the blood from clotting, and releasing bile in order to aid digestion. Any disruption or disorder on one of these functions could result in fatality.

Some of the diseases that might lead to liver damage or liver cancer are such as cirrhosis (a serious condition that destroys healthy tissue), hepatitis B and hepatitis C (both are blood-borne viral infection that can gradually cause damage to the liver), haemochromatosis (a rare genetic condition where the body absorbs an excess amount of iron from food, causing cirrhosis), and alcohol abuse (where the liver is unable to cope with the amount of alcohol and become damaged).

Somehow, there are standards for predicting the state of the liver and how much liver damage one may or may not have is done by the process of liver biopsy; which is executed by removing and examining a small piece of tissue from the patient's liver for signs of damage or disease.

Prior to the liver examination procedure, the patient must refrain from eating or drinking for at least 6 hours. The procedure is done by making a small incision, and then inserting a biopsy needle to retrieve a sample of the liver tissue. After the procedure, the patient also has to lie under observation for another 12-24 hours.

Now a new device in clinical trial is developed and known as the fibroscan. Fibroscan is a technique used to quantify hepatic fibrosis or damage to the liver in a totally non-invasive and painless manner, with no contraindication for the patient. With this technology, we are able to get an accurate assessment of the liver damage resulting from all pathologies that cause damage to the liver, namely, the metabolic syndrome and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, chronic viral hepatitis and excess alcohol intake without having to use biopsy needles.
The fibroscan uses ultrasound, which emits a vibration that is tracked by the machine. The faster the wave travels, the harder and more scarred the tissue. Or in other words: the device measures the amount of stiffness of the liver. With fibroscan, there is no restriction on the frequency of use and is an ideal diagnostic tool to identify patients with significant liver disease and monitor the progression, stagnation or regression of the patient's liver disease.
But no matter what, the best way to stay in good health is the best course. Some of the ways to do so are:
- To prevent hepatitis C - always have safe sex by using a barrier-form of contraception, do not share drug needles, and be careful if you need to come into close contact with blood products. As for hepatitis B you can take a vaccine to prevent it.
- To prevent cirrhosis of the liver which is the leading risk factor for liver cancer - limit the amount of alcohol you drink. The recommended daily amount of alcohol consumption is about 75-100 ml for men and 50-75 ml for women.

With a fibroscan in Bangkok your liver damage can be examined. A fibroscan in Thailand at Samitivej Hospital will give you prior notice to the liver and digestive diseases.

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