Test / Diagnostic Procedure: Private Liver Function Test

Liver function tests provide you with peace of mind and insight into the health of your liver. At OneWelbeck, we offer private liver function tests for those over the age of 18.

To book offline, call our Digestive Health centre directly on: 02036532009

Enquiries: bookings.digestivehealth@onewelbeck.com

What is a liver function test?

A liver function test can be carried out with a blood test. This will assess and measure the health and function of your liver by looking at specific markers. A liver function test can also be used to monitor a condition affecting your liver and determine how well it is responding to treatment.

What does a liver function test check for?

A blood test is used to check your liver function by analysing a number of different proteins. This includes:

  • Alanine transaminase (ALT) – a liver enzyme that converts proteins into energy for your liver cells. If you have liver damage, your ALT levels can be elevated.

  • Aspartate transaminase (AST) – an enzyme that breaks down amino acids in the body. High levels may indicate liver damage or disease.

  • Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) – an enzyme in your liver and bones which breaks down proteins. High levels of ALP can mean you have damage or disease of your liver.

  • Albumin and total protein – albumin is a protein made by your liver. Low levels of albumin and total protein may mean you have liver damage or disease.

  • Bilirubin – a substance produced when red blood cells are broken down. It passes through the liver and is removed from the body in your stool. High levels of bilirubin may indicate liver damage or disease.

  • Gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT) – an enzyme in your blood that, if elevated, can mean you have liver or bile duct damage.

  • L-lactate dehydrogenase (LD) – if found in high quantities, this enzyme can indicate potential liver damage.

  • Prothrombin time (PT) – your prothrombin time refers to the time it takes for your blood to clot. The higher your PT is, the higher your risk of liver damage.

It is important to note that abnormal results of a liver function test do not always indicate liver disease. At OneWelbeck, our consultants will always discuss and explain your results to help you fully understand what they mean.

Why might I need a liver function blood test?

Our liver screening services are available to all adults over the age of 18. You also do not need to have pre-existing liver problems or symptoms before having a liver screening – they can be carried out to simply check your liver health and ensure you’re doing everything you can to look after it.

If you want to be proactive about your health, a liver function test may help you safeguard your wellbeing and provide you with expert advice on how to maintain it.

However, there are several circumstances where you may require a liver function test. For example, this can include situations where you have:

  • A family history of liver problems

  • Previous or current liver conditions – the function test will monitor your condition and determine if treatment is working

  • Lifestyle factors that impact the health of your liver

Common liver conditions

If your liver function test indicates that you may have liver damage or disease, further tests may be recommended to determine which type you have. That way, the right treatment can be provided.

Some of the most commonly detected liver conditions can include:

Benefits of a liver function test

Having a private liver function test can offer many benefits. First and foremost, it assesses your liver health, allowing you to address any potential liver function problems as early as possible.

Another benefit is being able to stop a condition from worsening or developing (if it’s preventable). For example, if your liver function test shows signs of a possible problem manifesting in the future, you may be recommended certain lifestyle changes to help minimise your risk.

Some of the other main benefits of having a liver function blood test can include:

  • Monitoring and checking current liver conditions

  • Checking your liver’s response to treatment

  • Monitoring any side effects of certain medications

  • Detecting and diagnosing liver conditions such as scarring of the liver

  • Gathering insights into how your current lifestyle is affecting your liver

What happens during a liver function test?

At OneWelbeck, we perform blood tests to assess the function of your liver.

Before the day of your test, you may be asked to avoid food and all drinks (apart from water) beforehand. You should also try to wear a top that can be easily rolled up so that the vein on the inside of your elbow can be easily accessed.

On the day of your blood test, you will arrive at the clinic and, before it is carried out, your arm will be cleaned with an antiseptic to sterilise the area.

A tight band will be wrapped around the top part of your arm, causing your vein to stand out. A thin needle will then be inserted into your vein to draw the blood for collection.

Once enough blood has been collected, the needle will be gently removed and a small bandage or plaster will be placed over the puncture site.

At OneWelbeck, our hepatologist team can also perform a FibroScan – an additional, non-invasive liver test that can help determine vital information about your liver.

Using a probe to scan your liver, this painless procedure takes up to 10 minutes to complete and offers deeper insights into both your liver function and health.

Are there any risks when having a liver function test?

The risks associated with a liver function test are extremely low and most patients find they experience no side effects from the blood test. However, there is a risk of bruising at the puncture site and fainting.

If you are concerned or nervous about your blood test, do not hesitate to let us know beforehand. Our team will make sure you’re as comfortable as possible by answering any questions you have and putting your mind at ease.

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Jul 2024


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This service or treatment is generally covered by most health insurance policies. You are responsible for checking your insurance policy cover, and you may need a referral letter. Check which insurance companies are covered.

Liver function test specialists

We have brought together a group of leading colorectal and general surgeons and gastroenterologists to create our Digestive Health team. With over 300 years of combined experience, these expert clinicians are the best in their field and are all focused on delivering the very best patient care.