A liver biopsy is performed as a diagnostic test which is considered to be minor surgery, to examine a small piece of tissue from your liver for signs of damage or disease. The physician will: mark the site for biopsy, inject a local anesthetic to numb the area, make a small incision near the rib cage, then insert the biospy needle to retrieve a tissue sample. 

Liver Biopsy Procedure Preparation

  • No food or liquids (this includes water) minimally 6 hours prior to the procedure.
  • Please consult with your physician regarding medication restrictions (especially aspirin, and other anti-inflammatoru products) and preliminary blood tests.
  • Plan to take the day off of work.
  • Consult with your physician to see if intravenous sedation will be used. If yes, plan to have someone you know drive you home. Since the procedure is usually performed with intravenous sedation, you will be instructed to not drive a car or return to work until the next day.

Pre-Liver Biopsy Procedure Expectations

  • Arrive 30 minutes before the procedure.
  • The physician may use ultrasound to mark the area.
  • You may have an intravenous line placed, since the procedure is usually performed with intravenous sedation.
  • The procedure takes about 20 minutes.

Post-Liver Biopsy Procedure Expectations

  • The patient will be monitored between two to six hours.
  • The patient will be asked to lie on the right side.  
  • Patients will be provided with discharge instructions to take home.
  • You may expect some soreness at the incision site.

Your Gastroenterologist will arrange for this procedure at one of our locations.

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