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What Can a Liver Ultrasound Show?

Video transcription

Hi I'm Dr. Peter Kramer with Wrightsville Beach Family Medicine in Wilmington, North Carolina. The question is what can a liver ultrasound show? A liver ultrasound is really designed to describe or delineate better the architecture of the liver. You can think of cheese cloth and the liver cells stick to this matrix of cheese cloth and those cells then will grow and attach to each other and form basically the liver. When you look at an ultrasound you look at the consistency of the liver, you look for cysts, you kind of look for blood flow within the liver and determine how the blood is flowing through the liver. Make sure there are no pockets of infection. Make sure there are no pools of blood where there shouldn't be pools of blood. You can also find cysts and scar tissue also known as fibrosis. You can detect what's called fatty liver changes where instead of those regular liver cells that are in there you get little at cells that take the place of the normally functioning liver cells and that can cause problems with your liver functioning elevated or sometimes most folks don't notice it at all. Also when you have a liver ultrasound you can look at the gall bladder and see if you have stones or problems with the bile duct and the bile is produced by the liver, stored in the gall bladder then put out of the gall bladder during meals to absorb cholesterol and fats and things like that. If you have a problem with the manufacture or the production or the dispersement of gall bladder or bile, then it can backup in the gall bladder and cause problems which then can backup into the liver and give you trouble. So that's a little bit about what a liver ultrasound could tell you.

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