UM, the best place to be treated in S fl for HCV...good choice !
Just ask for the fibroscan during your visit and they will probably do it as part of the appointment to add to their fibroscan database.
Thats how I got a fibroscan there.
What Dr are you seeing there.
Thanks Apache.The doctors name is ghanta. This will be my first visit. How much did the scan cost you?
they can not charge for the scan because it has not been FDA approved yet. It has to be done as part of a study. Like the other poster said it will be part of your office visit. There is criteria that you have to have a biopsy or agree to have one, i think it is 6 months or 60 days before or after the scan so they can compare the results. Good luck
I know that Shands has one. At one time they also had a FDA trial going for the fibroscan. It would not surprise me that if you were treating there you could get a scan.
There could be other trials going on either which pertained to evaluating the scan itself or in which a scan was offered instead of a biopsy. (see #12 in the 13 trials listed below. Note: some of these which are recruiting are out of the country)
I am trying to avoid a biopsy because I am hemophilliac. I have only seen my regular doctor because of the insurance problem. I have been feeling symptoms for about a year and I estimate I have had the virus between 25 and 35 years. My new insurance will kick in Jan. 1st so I will be able to get treatment but I really would like to avoid that biopsy. Does anyone know if they make exceptions for bleeders? My new hepa doctor will probably want the biopsy done I suppose.
Thanks to everyone that has responded so far!
You might also check out fibrosure tests. They are a simple blood test which uses a variety of scores to provide an approximation of staging and inflamation. They are a simple blood draw from the arm. They may be approximately 85% the accuracy of a biopsy. A blood draw can be done in minutes and the results should be available within a week.
Mine cost about $330.00. It was covered by insurance (I had to tell the doctor to order it). After insurance my co-pay was about 25 dollars.
My Fibrosure results indicated I was a stage 1 (in 2005). I finally got a biopsy this year (2008).....and I was given a stage 1 (1/6 ISHAK) staging.
You can google "Fibrosure test" and get more details. Many doctors are not aware of the existence of this test.
In your case i agree with willy on the fibrosure test. Also depending on your geno type alot of doctors don't require bx's. Best to you
They did not make me get a bx to get the fibroscan...but I am a geno2, What geno are you ?
Copyman is correct, no cost for fibroscan, other than the appointment charge that ins picks up. Fibrosure is also a good option, but some say not as accurate as fibroscan or bx
Just go to UM for your appointment, they will know the best course of action for you.
Dr Schiff is the head of the Hepatology at UM, he is one of the top hepatologist in the country or maybe world. All the hepatologist there work under/with him.
Bring all the blood test, any other test results, records with you to the appointment.
They might not charge for the fibroscan. I saw one of the docs there, without insurance covering it, and the visit cost about $600 (just short). The consults are not cheap, but worth the price. I did not have a scan there, however. Have not heard that doc's name before. I imagine you may have waited for this appt for a while. I'd suggest a couple of things. Go there with any records you have, if you have not faxed them already. Call again to let them know that you want the fibroscan. The rooms they use there for consults are not exactly exam rooms and if there is an expectation of an exam (beyond palpation), even if just a scan, they may need to schedule a different room. If you haven't been there before, make sure you get good directions (see the hepatology dept website) there are some tricky turns. Opt for the valet parking (the place is parking hell). Make sure that you take notes and make sure that the doc sends his notes to your doc - he may record them in your presence. Get a hard-copy of the fibroscan results for your doc too, even though he's not likely to be familiar with it. Let them know about the hemophillia way up front and that might persuade them to do the scan if they are reluctant and help you avoid the risks of the bx. Folks there are very good, but all business. So, just the facts and don't worry about missing out on a lot of bedside manner and solace (that's what dogs are for). If this is a one-time event for you take advantage and be prepared with questions and take notes. Good luck.
I haven't gotten the genotype test yet because of the insurance problem. I am waiting for the new insurance to help with that so I can use the money to travel to Miami. I live in nashville so it will be quite a trip. My alt level was 83 and ast 57 back in July. Just had a viral load done and it came back 975000 and 5.9 log. They said the load was high.
I really appreciate this forum and everyone in it!
I don't see a 'ghanta' listed in Hepatology at UM.
Thanks FIGuy. Lots of good info. You answered a couple of questions I was going to ask. I checked my notes and the name is Rita Ghanta. I just googled him and found his name on the Miami university phonebook. I lived in West Palm Beach back in 89 and used to go down to Miami sometimes on the weekends but not that familar with the city. I thought I would find the office the day before so I wouldn't have any trouble. Is the university in the north end of town? I ended up in a dangerous neighborhood once and would like to avoid that this time.
I looked in a few other places and found him too (think the name is Ravi Ghanta) and is in the Liver Center.
Best thing is google for the address of the building you'll see him in. There could be couple of different places, check with the appointment people. The medical complex is huge there - all over the place. They used to have a 'directions' link on the hepatology website which gave very particular directions. fF you have an AM appt be mindful of the mess of rush hour traffic down there. It's off 95 (west) a bit.
you might want to have the fibrosure or similar blood-based test now and then follow-up with a fibroscan, particularly if you fall into the gray area between 1.5-3.5. Assessing fibrosis is a sketchy business and it's generally a good idea to get a couple of independent confirmations.
The blood-based tests can reliably place you at either end of the scale but can't distinguish shades of moderate/advanced. The FS is not perfect in that regard either (nothing is) but from my reading is a better discriminant. No idea why the FDA is delaying approval.
The University of Miami will not charge you for the Fibro Scan they are also doing clinicle trials for some of the newest drugs out there for Hep C. I would rec. that you contact them and see I do know they were looking for people to be part of the studies for the protease inhibitators that are used with the standard treatment for Hep C.. Good Luck