A liver biopsy is performed to diagnose liver disorders by examining liver tissue.
The physician obtains a small specimen of tissue by inserting a needle directly into the liver, through the abdomen.
The total procedure takes only fifteen minutes, but you will remain in the hospital for up to twenty-three hours after the procedure.
What to Expect
When you know what to expect, it can help alleviate some of your stress. The liver biopsy procedure will only take a few minutes. You will be asked to lie on your back and remain as still as possible. An ultrasound will be used to mark the exact location of your liver. A CT may be used to ensure the needle reaches the liver. A local anesthetic will be applied to the area where the needle is to be inserted. You may be given an IV to administer sedatives or pain medication.
The doctor will make a small incision in the abdomen, close to the bottom of the rib cage on your right side. The biopsy needle is inserted, and you’ll be asked to exhale and hold your breath while the needle is inserted into the liver to withdraw a tissue sample. It will be withdrawn quickly. In some instances, the needle may be inserted more than one time if more samples need to be collected.
Following the liver biopsy, you will be asked to rest for up to four hours to reduce the risk of bleeding. During this time, you will be monitored by medical staff.
No aspirin products, non-steroidal medications or blood thinners 10 days prior to the procedure. Be sure to discuss your medications with your physician prior to stopping them to ensure it is safe for you to do so.
Have nothing to eat or drink from midnight the night before the procedure.
Report to Patient Registration at Troy Beaumont Hospital approximately 45 minutes before the procedure.
There is no sedation for this procedure, but medication is given to help you relax, as there will be discomfort.
An area of the abdomen is cleaned and draped, and the physician will administer an anesthetic to numb the area. You may experience a stinging sensation and brief discomfort from this.
You will need to lie still and hold your breath while the physician inserts the biopsy needle into the liver. The procedure may cause a sensation of pressure and discomfort, but the needle will only remain in the liver for approximately one second.
You will remain in the hospital on complete bed rest for several hours after the procedure to ensure there are no side effects from the biopsy.
The nursing staff will monitor your vital signs and will check for any signs of bleeding or bile peritonitis-tenderness, together with any symptoms of rigidity of the abdomen or biopsy site.
There may be slight discomfort for several hours after the procedure.