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Transjugular Liver Biopsy

A transjugular liver biopsy is a minimally invasive procedure through which a sample of your liver will be obtained for analysis. The liver biopsy will be performed through a transvenous approach (in which a needle is inserted via a vein), which usually employs the jugular vein.

How to Prepare for a Transjugular Liver Biopsy

  • Arrive one hour before the procedure for testing.
  • List any medications or blood thinners you are currently taking, as you may be asked to stop a week before the biopsy.
  • You should not eat or drink anything the day of your procedure.

What to Expect

  • The biopsy takes 45-50 minutes to complete.
  • You will be lightly sedated, but conscious during the procedure.
  • A small cut will be made on the your jugular vein and your doctor will insert a small catheter through the vein
  • Through this small catheter, your doctor will insert a special needle that will be directed to your liver and once within the liver, the special needle will be used to obtain 3-4 liver samples. The samples will be sent for analysis to determine the nature of the liver problem.
  • The incision is covered, and does not require stitches.

What to Expect after a Liver Biopsy

  • You may need 1-2 hours to recover, and can return to normal activities afterwards.
  • You will need to rest the following 4-5 days after the procedure. After this time, you will be able to return to your regular activities.
  • You may experience some aches or minor pains near the area of incision.
  • Biopsy results will be ready in 2-3 days, and your hepatologist will follow up with you about the next steps in your treatment plan.

For More Information

For more information on liver biopsies, or to schedule an appointment with an interventional radiologist, please call 847.570.2638.