New Pain-Free Alternative to Biopsy: evaluation, treatment and follow-up options for Hepatitis C patients
Improving Follow-Up Experience
With the most recent oral medications, about 90 percent of Hepatitis C patients are cured of the virus. Those patients still need to be evaluated after taking the drug to assess their progress. SWE is also useful for such required follow-up appointments, as those benefits are easy to discern with the technique. Perhaps more importantly from a patient perspective, SWE can show the patient his or her progress: the physician can call up an earlier scan of the same region and compare it to the real-time scan to chart the change.
With SWE, a post-treatment follow-up takes up two minutes of a regular clinic visit, and takes biopsies largely out of the equation. Instead of a series of follow-up biopsies, a patient will need to come in only once a year for a quick SWE check-up.
SWE is a promising pain-free option for Hepatitis C patients but, as with any new technologies, there may be clinical situations where the technique is less effective. Clinicians have been pleased with results to date, and will continue to learn more as it becomes standard practice and through additional research as it becomes available. Patients are now able to look forward to pain free evaluations and follow-up appointments with their physician, as they progress through the phases of treatment given the advances in technology now available
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