Major boost for Mid Yorks to reduce waiting times and fight against increasing liver disease | News

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Major boost for Mid Yorks to reduce waiting times and fight against increasing liver disease

Colleageus with fibroscanner

Patients at Mid Yorkshire Teaching NHS Trust requiring liver scans and biopsies can now benefit from shorter waiting times thanks to a new Fibroscanner.

The scanner which uses ultrasound to measure the stiffness and fattiness of a person’s liver is a quick, painless and non-invasive alternative to an MRI or CT and also replaces the need for a liver biopsy – a procedure that requires the patient to be under general anaesthetic.

The Trust was able to purchase the scanner following a successful bid for capital funding.

Richard Robinson, Chief Medical Officer at Mid Yorkshire Teaching NHS Trust said; “I’m delighted that we have been able to add a Fibroscanner to our suite of diagnostic equipment. Being able to scan our patients in this way will enable us to identify quicker those who may be at a higher risk of liver disease or cancer meaning we can start their treatment sooner. It also means that they don’t have to join a waiting list for a CT or MRI scanner which are used for a much wider array of medical issues.”

Following the scan, patients will be advised if there’s currently no further action needed, or a blood test will be taken and they could be referred on for further testing.

For people who drink heavily, early detection of cirrhosis of the liver (liver damage caused by scarring) is important as the condition brings an increased risk of developing liver cancer.

According to the Wakefield Joint Strategic Needs Assessment annual report 2023, ‘Alcohol consumption across England is increasing. Health conditions that are due to or closely related to alcohol are at the highest levels seen for some time in Wakefield, nearly 3,000 admissions of this type occurred last year. Mortality for alcoholic liver disease has also increased greatly in recent times.’

Richard continued; “The scanner will help in our efforts to reduce health inequalities in our district, whilst at the same time providing a better experience for our patients. We’re all quite rightly very proud of this new addition and the positive impact it will have.”

A patient at Mid Yorkshire who hasrecently benefitted from the new scanner said: “I’m grateful for the convenience of the scan as it could be carried out whilst I was already in hospital, I didn’t need to come back at a later date for a further appointment or have a general anaesthetic to have a biopsy.”

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