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Southwell Medical equipped for elastography ultrasounds

Southwell Medical in Adel is the second facility in South Central Georgia to now offer elastography ultrasounds.

Liver elastography is a type of imaging that checks the liver for fibrosis, which if not treated can lead to cirrhosis, liver cancer, and liver failure. The equipment at Southwell Medical uses ultrasound technology to check the stiffness of liver tissues as stiffness is a sign of fibrosis. This type of testing can sometimes be used in place of a liver biopsy, which is a much more invasive test that removes a section of the liver for testing.

“Cirrhosis of the liver is the ninth leading cause of death in the United States, but early diagnosis and treatment can reduce or even reverse the effects of fibrosis,” said Dr. Edward Fricker, a gastroenterologist at Southwell Gastroenterology. “Having this equipment here at Southwell Medical in Adel will help us to catch and treat cirrhosis and in turn liver cancer and liver failure much sooner using a non-invasive procedure.”

“We are excited to be offering liver elastography ultrasounds right here in Adel,” said Dr. Eric Ward. “This was a need we saw in the community, and we are glad to see that need met locally.”

“Having this elastography ultrasound here in Adel is great news for primary care physicians,” said Dr. C. Allen Woods. “Diabetic patients with worsening nonalcoholic liver disease are great candidates for this non-invasive procedure. Elastography ultrasounds can be used to see if these patients have fibrosis, so that early treatment can start. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (an advanced form of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease) is very common here in South Georgia, and we know that it can potentially lead to cirrhosis of the liver in about 20 percent of those patients.”

Dr. Edward Fricker is located at Southwell Gastroenterology & Southwell Lowndes Endoscopy Center at 3790 Old US 41, Suites B and C in Valdosta. For more information about this practice, call 229-262-6800. Dr. C. Allen Woods and Dr. Eric Ward are located at Southwell Gastroenterology & Southwell Valdosta Endoscopy Center at 410 Connell Road in Valdosta. For more information about this practice, call 229-244-1570. For more information about elastography and who’s a good candidate for it, talk to your primary care provider about a referral. Primary care physicians who are interested in learning more about this procedure can do so by calling 229-896-8000.