Ho, ho, ho, winter is knocking on our door! December stands for cold weather, rain, snow, wind, but it also means the holidays are approaching. It is finally time to have that glass of wine once in a while with your friends and family.
But, is it really just from time to time or does it go without saying your every holiday season turns into drinking on a regular basis, often even every day?
Pay attention, since holidays can turn into a serious health threat, as alcohol does more harm to your liver than you can imagine. Do keep celebrating and having wonderful time with your dearest, but also think of the options to check your health during and after the festivities.
One such option is a liver scan.
What is a liver scan?
Liver scan is a non-obstetric ultrasound procedure to check the general condition of your liver. It can be combined with spleen scan, as well. It does not pose any health risks and is completely safe.
Why should you have a liver scan?
There are several reasons to have a liver scan:
- To check your liver general condition as a precautionary measure;
- To check the cause of stomach pain;
- To check your liver if you had a stomach injury;
- To look for liver cancer;
- To check your liver for hazardous effects of festive substance abuse – too much alcohol can cause liver lesions or abnormalities, cirrhosis or cysts being the most frequent ones;
- To re-check your liver after a while to make sure everything is in order;
- It is not readily available on NHS, where you would have to wait for an appointment up to six months, while at private practices, the scan is available all year round.
How is a liver scan done?
Liver scan is a non-invasive ultrasound scan, similar to testicular scan.
Once in your appointment, you lie on your back and remove clothes from your stomach. Cool gel is applied to your stomach so as to enable better sound transmission through tissue. An ultrasound transducer glides over your stomach to send sound waves and collect them for an image displayed on the screen. Your Radiographer can interpret results immediately, or it can take several days in case there are observable lesions or abnormalities.
If you have any questions or issues prior to or throughout the scan, feel free to discuss them with your Radiologist or a Radiographer. The main aim of the procedure is to give you a peace of mind and direct you further if the need arises, thus there is no need to hold back or for questions to remain unanswered.
The entire procedure takes about 10 to 15 minutes to complete.
Are there any preparations?
There are no specific preparations for liver scan.
For ladies, though, in case of pregnancy, make sure to mention it to your radiographer. Depending on the pregnancy stage, your Doctor should be aware of it, or he or she may advise you to have a different scan or at a different time.
Whom is a liver scan meant for?
There is no confusion about whom is a liver scan meant for – it is, in fact, intended for all those who regularly drink and those who want to monitor their health condition.
Yet, the current practice shows men are more prone to having liver scan. Maybe they drink more, so they must take special care of the consequences.
Yet, women should also consider having liver scan regularly, especially during and after festive seasons. Wine is healthy to drink once in a while, but we are all different, and one person’s body is better at handling alcohol abuse side effects, whereas other person’s is not.
There is no need to skip parties or celebrations during festive season as long as you learn to control your drinking habits. Allow your body at least two to three days to recuperate between two drinking sessions. The more often you enjoy a glass of wine, sherry or port, the more desirable to regularly have a liver scan.