A needle is put into the liver through the abdominal or chest wall. A piece of liver tissue is removed through the needle and sent to pathology for testing. More than one piece of liver tissue may be required. The procedure is usually done using local anaesthetic to numb the area, but some people may have a general anaesthetic. In the case of children, the biopsy will be done under a general anaesthetic.
Following the procedure you may need to lie in bed (sometimes on your side) for up to six (6) hours.
Before the Procedure
Regardless of why biopsy has been recommended for you, there are important steps you can take to prepare for and participate in the procedure.
In addition to changes to your medication, you'll also need to:
Tell the doctor if you have: a pacemaker, a joint replacement, heart, lung or other medical conditions that may need special attention .
Preparation for the Procedure
You must not eat or drink anything for at least six hours before the procedure. Ideally you must not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your procedure. The exception is medication taken with a small sip of water.
During the Procedure
Risks of this Procedure
After the Procedure
When your liver biosy is completed on an outpatient basis, you will need to remain under observation until your doctor or healthcare team has decided you can return home. Sometimes, admission to the hospital is necessary.