Thrive by IU Health

June 16, 2023

Looking out for the liver

IU Health Bloomington Hospital

Looking out for the liver

How far would you drive for a five-minute test? Until recently, patients in south-central Indiana have gone to Indianapolis for FibroScan, a non-invasive test for liver health.

Thankfully, Hoosiers in this region now have access to the revolutionary tool at IU Health Bloomington*.

Why care about your liver?

This organ is essential for cleaning toxins from the blood, and it produces chemicals the body needs to survive. So, when it’s damaged, it’s a big deal.

Liver damage can be caused by various things, including viruses, alcohol use, obesity, and even genetics. Symptoms can include:

  • Fatigue
  • Easily bleeding or bruising
  • Jaundice
  • Unexplained weight loss

“Regular check-ups with your doctor can help identify issues early so you can take steps to protect the organ,” says Daniel Selo, MD, IU Health Southern Indiana Physicians Gastroenterology – Hepatology provider. “When the damage is there, identifying the cause of liver damage and working on the treatment as a team with your doctor is essential to reducing your risk of developing permanent damage.”

The organ won’t work normally if the damage progresses into cirrhosis—permanent liver damage from scarring--and could result in liver failure.

“Our liver cirrhosis patients don’t feel good,” says Chris Morron, RN, MSN, CPHRM, IU Health Bloomington PACU, and Endoscopy Clinical Operations Manager. “The FibroScan is a great first step to caring for them and those who haven’t developed the condition.”

What is FibroScan?

FibroScan is non-invasive and uses ultrasound to look at the liver without making any incisions or inserting anything into the body.

“This tool helps us look at the amount of scar tissue and fat in the liver, which guides us on planning patient care going forward,” says Selo. “With the correct interventions, we can potentially prevent liver cirrhosis.”

For five minutes, the patient lies on a bed with their shirt pulled to their sternum, their right arm raised above their head, and their right leg crossed over the left as a technologist presses an ultrasound wand between two ribs to scan the liver beneath.

After a few snapshots with the machine, you’re on your way out the door. The doctor will review the scans and, depending on the results, offer their suggestion for the best course of action at that point.

And if you need your spleen health accessed, the process is the same, just on the other side of the body.

For the patients

The IU Health Bloomington team knows how important this tool is for their patients, so they worked hard to train and get the technology to their facility.

Bringing care closer to home makes it more accessible, and this team is proud to be able to help their patients in their community.

*Physician referral is required.



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