What is a Liver Biopsy?
Your healthcare provider has requested that you undergo a liver biopsy. Your symptoms, labs or imaging indicate that there is an abnormality within the liver. A liver biopsy takes a small tissue sample from the liver to aid in your diagnosis or treatment plan.
How Should I Prepare?
You should not eat or drink anything for six hours prior to your procedure. You may take your medications as directed. Speak to your doctor if you need to adjust your insulin dosing. Prior to your procedure, you should make sure all medications and allergies are updated. If you are on a blood thinner you may be requested to stop that medication for a period of time. You will want to arrange for a ride home from a responsible adult afterwards should you require sedation.
How is the Procedure Performed?
The procedure will be performed by a qualified healthcare professional with specific training in Interventional Radiology. The procedure may be performed under CT- or ultrasound-guidance. Intravenous medications may be given to make you more comfortable and relaxed. This is called conscious sedation.
A biopsy involves the placement of a needle through your skin and into a target area within the liver. The skin is cleaned and numbing medicine will be injected before the biopsy needle is inserted. The biopsy needle will be advanced into the targeted area and you may hear some clicking noises as the biopsy is taken. The needle will then be removed and a sterile dressing applied.
What Should I Expect After the Procedure?
Following the procedure, you will be monitored for a period of time for any complications. You may experience some tenderness over the target area for a few days.
Who Interprets the Results?
Following your liver biopsy, the removed tissue will be sent to a pathologist who will then make a final diagnosis. The physician who ordered the test will convey these results to you.