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Liver Function Tests: Purpose, Procedure, and Risk

04.04.2019 Posted By : Dr Ashok Rattan Share :
Liver Function Tests: Purpose, Procedure, and Risk

The liver is the largest single discrete organ in the body which has four main functions and plays a major part in many metabolic and excretory processes. Due to its numerous functions, liver disease has multiple consequences, many of which can be detected and monitored with blood tests known as liver functions tests (LFTs). Liver function tests (LFTs) are blood tests that are used to help in diagnosing and monitoring liver disease or damage. The tests measure the levels of certain enzymes and proteins that are there in your blood. The values reflect how well your liver is functioning and monitors disease, infection, injury of the liver, among other concerns.

Purpose:

Liver function tests are used for:

  • Screening liver infections, such as hepatitis
  • Monitor the progression of a disease, such as viral or alcoholic hepatitis, and determine how well a treatment is working
  • Measure the severity of a disease, mainly the scarring of the liver (cirrhosis)
  • Monitor possible side effects of medications

Liver function tests also help in checking the levels of certain enzymes and proteins in the blood. Stages that are higher or lower than normal can indicate liver problems. LFTs can also help to determine if the liver is working correctly. The liver also performs a number of crucial bodily functions such as: removing impurities from your blood, converting nutrients from the foods you eat, storing minerals and vitamins, removing bacteria from your blood, maintaining hormone balances and many more.

Procedure:

During the test

To carry out the blood sample for LFTs, a small needle is inserted into a vein in the bend of your arm. This needle is fixed to a small tube to collect your blood. One may feel a quick pain as the needle gets inserted into the vein and also may experience some temporary discomfort at the site after the needle is removed from the vein.

After the test

Once the blood is removed it will be sent to the laboratory for analysis. You can receive the liver function test results within hours if the lab analysis is done on-site. But, if your doctor sends your blood to an off-site laboratory, you might receive the results in a few days.

If the results indicate a problem with your liver function, your doctor will review your medications and your past medical history to help determine the cause. Your doctor may also prescribe you to avoid eating food and taking some medications.

Risks

Blood draws are the normal routine procedures and it rarely causes any serious side effects. The major risk associated with blood tests is soreness or bruising at the site of the blood drawn. Most of the people don't have any serious reactions to having blood drawn. However, the risks of giving a blood sample can include bleeding under the skin, or hematoma, excessive bleeding, fainting and infection.

Having a healthy liver is essential to a healthy life. Getting a LFTs is essential to know if your liver is functioning properly or not. Early signs can help in preventing liver disease or liver failure. Get a Liver Function test today at the comfort of your home with doorstep reports & test delivery.

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