Thanks to your generous support as part of the Golden Gift Appeal, a new scanner is now in use to help diagnose liver cirrhosis, scarring of the liver caused by long-term liver damage.

The new scanner uses elastography, a technique similar to ultrasound, to measure the stiffness of the liver – so the harder the liver, the more serious the scarring is likely to be.

The scanner is a non-invasive, painless alternative to a liver biopsy. It uses a probe which emits a mechanical pulse on the surface of the skin, measuring the condition of the liver through soundwaves. 

Hepatology nurse Vicki Hunt said: “We will be able to take the scanner to patients, rather than patients having to come to the scanner. It will save poorly people having to make an anxious trip for their scan, instead being able to stay where they are most comfortable.

“We can take the scanner around the hospital building to inpatients that are here or we can take it to some of our outreach clinics in the community.

“It will help us reach more people before they become so unwell that they need to come to the hospital.”

If you would like to support patients, their friends and family who visit them and the 9,000 dedicated NHS staff in Bristol, please donate or start fundraising today.