Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
195 Little Albany Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08903-2681
Your doctor may perform Transthoracic Needle Biopsy or TNV to diagnose disease in or near your lungs.
The lungs are located in the chest cavity between the surface of the lungs and the chest wall are two layers of tissue called the pleura.
One layer the visceral pleura is attached to the lung itself while the other layer the parietal pleura is attached to the chest wall.
A small amount of fluid in the pleural space which is the space between the two layers allows the lungs to smoothly expand and contract with each breath.
Transthoracic Needle Biopsies may be ordered to diagnose conditions such as asthma, lung cancer, pneumonia, and chest injuries.
Before your procedure, you may be give medications to suppress coughing.
Your doctor may use various imaging techniques such as a CT scan or ultrasound to help him or her precisely locate the target of your biopsy and guide the insertion of the needle.
Your skin will be cleaned at the site where the needle is to be inserted just above one of your ribs.
To help you relax you may receive a mild sedative and a local anesthetic will be used to numb the area.
A typical procedure takes less than 30 minutes.
To begin, your doctor may make a small incision in your skin where the needle will be inserted.
Then while you hold your breath and remain as still as possible your doctor will insert the needle through your skin and chest wall.
You may feel pressure and then a quick sharp pain when the needle reaches the surface of your lung.
Your doctor will quickly obtain the sample of fluid or tissue and withdraw the needle.
Afterwards, a chest x-ray or other imaging techniques will be used to make sure your lung has not collapsed.
The recovery time is usually very short. You will go home the same day as the procedure unless there is a complication.