A Painless, Non-Surgical Alternative to Liver Biopsy

Fibroscan, or transient elastography, measures the stiffness of the liver using a technique similar to ultrasound. At MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, physicians use this technology to examine liver scarring, or fibrosis, caused by a number of liver diseases, such as Hepatitis C. An accurate measurement of liver stiffness can he an important part of evaluating overall liver health.

How Fibroscan Works

Fibroscan emits a small pulse of energy, which may feel like a slight vibration on your skin. Fibroscan calculates the speed of this energy to give the physician an immediate measure of your liver stiffness. The exam is painless, quick, and easy.

Is Fibroscan Right for Me?

Fibroscan may be used with patients of all ages. Your physician may recommend Fibroscan if you have one of the following liver conditions:

  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C
  • Autoimmune hepatitis
  • Alcoholic liver disease
  • Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH)
  • Genetic conditions, such as hemochromatosis and Wilson’s disease
  • Cirrhosis

A Rapid, Painless, Completely Non-Invasive Liver Exam

What to Expect During Your Fibroscan Exam

  • You will lie on your back, with your right arm raised.
  • A water-based gel will be applied to the skin, and the non-invasive Fibroscan probe will be placed on the right side of your ribcage.
  • During the exam, you may feel a slight vibration on the skin at the tip of the probe as it delivers ultrasound waves to the area for measuring purposes.
  • The exam typically takes 5-15 minutes and requires no sedation.
  • Results are available immediately.

Preparing for Fibroscan is simple. Wear comfortable clothing and avoid eating for at least 3 hours prior to your exam.

Make an Appointment

For more information or to schedule an appointment with a transplant specialist, please call our scheduling line:


Liver Screening Program