Patients at Mid Yorkshire Teaching NHS Trust will now experience shorter waiting times for liver scans and biopsies, thanks to the introduction of a new Fibroscanner. This state-of-the-art scanner utilises ultrasound technology to measure the stiffness and fattiness of a patient’s liver, providing a quick, painless, and non-invasive alternative to MRI or CT scans. Additionally, the Fibroscanner eliminates the need for a liver biopsy, which typically requires the patient to undergo general anaesthesia.
The procurement of the Fibroscanner was made possible through a successful bid for capital funding by the Trust. Richard Robinson, the Chief Medical Officer at Mid Yorkshire Teaching NHS Trust, expressed his delight at the new addition to their diagnostic equipment. He explained that the scanner would facilitate the identification of patients at a higher risk of liver disease or cancer, allowing for earlier treatment initiation. Furthermore, it would spare patients from waiting for a CT or MRI scan, which is utilised for a broader range of medical conditions.
After undergoing a scan, patients will receive appropriate guidance based on the results. If no further action is required, they will be informed accordingly. Alternatively, a blood test may be conducted, and patients may be referred for additional testing.
Early detection of cirrhosis of the liver, a condition characterised by liver damage caused by scarring, is particularly crucial for individuals with heavy alcohol consumption. This condition significantly elevates the risk of developing liver cancer. The Wakefield Joint Strategic Needs Assessment annual report for 2023 highlighted the rising alcohol consumption across England and the subsequent increase in health conditions associated with alcohol in Wakefield. It revealed that nearly 3,000 admissions related to alcohol-related health issues occurred last year, with a significant rise in mortality rates from alcoholic liver disease.
Richard emphasised that the Fibroscanner would aid in reducing health inequalities in the district while enhancing the overall patient experience. He expressed pride in the new addition and the positive impact it would have on the community.
One patient at Mid Yorkshire Teaching NHS Trust, who recently benefited from the Fibroscanner, expressed gratitude for the convenience of the scan. The patient appreciated that the scan could be conducted while they were already in the hospital, eliminating the need for a separate appointment or a biopsy requiring general anaesthesia.
The introduction of the Fibroscanner at Mid Yorkshire Teaching NHS Trust marks a significant advancement in liver scanning and biopsy procedures. Patients can now benefit from reduced waiting times, improved diagnosis capabilities, and a more seamless healthcare experience.