This is a procedure to obtain a sample of your liver tissue.
Biopsies of the liver are usually done to evaluate:
If you are planning to have a liver biopsy, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:
Factors that may increase the risk of complications include:
Your doctor may do the following:
Before your biopsy:
Local anesthesia—just the area that is being operated on is numbed; given as an injection and may also be given with a sedative
There are different techniques to do a liver biopsy, including:
You will lie on your back with your right hand behind your head. The doctor might use an ultrasound or CT scan to help guide the placement of the needle. The skin will be cleaned. Next, the doctor will inject medicine to numb the area. The doctor will make a small incision. You will need to exhale and hold your breath while the needle is inserted. Sometimes, the needle will need to be inserted several times. After the procedure, your doctor will bandage the area. You will lie on your right side for at least two hours.
Placement of Liver Biopsy Needle
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Your doctor will make a tiny incision. She will pass a long tool with a camera on the end into your abdomen in the area of the liver. The scope will send images of the liver to a TV screen. Your doctor will make other incisions to pass other tools. With these tools, she will remove samples of the liver.
Your doctor will thread a tiny flexible tube into a vein in your neck or groin. This tube will be threaded all the way into the veins in your liver. Your doctor will pass a biopsy needle through the tube to get a biopsy sample.
You will lie on your right side for at least two hours.
About 15-20 minutes
You will have mild pain or cramping at the biopsy site. You may also have pain in the right shoulder. The pain should last for less than 30 minutes.
When you return home after the procedure, do the following to help ensure a smooth recovery:
The results will take 1-4 weeks. You and your doctor will discuss the results.
After arriving home, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:
In case of an emergency, call for medical help right away.