Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
Below, we describe the procedure for ultrasound-guided percutaneous liver
biopsy at a typical hospital. It is provided to give patients a sense of what to
expect. Not all hospitals or institutions follow the same protocol for
Arrive at ambulatory surgery.
Undergo placement of an intravenous line.
interventional radiology and meet with the interventional radiologist who will
do the procedure.
Review the reasons for, benefits, risks and alternatives of biopsy with this
Sign an "informed consent" form to give permission for the procedure
to be performed.
Receive an intravenous sedative medication (this is optional).
ultrasound to identify the ideal site for biopsy.
The skin over the biopsy site
A small volume of a local anesthetic is injected in a sterile
fashion into the biopsy site.
A small (~ 5-10 mm long) incision is made in the
The liver biopsy needle is positioned correctly and the biopsy is
The patient is transported back to the recovery room.
The patient is asked to remain still in bed for another 2 to 5 hours.
Heart rate and blood pressure are monitored by the recovery room nurse.
medicines are administered, as needed.
Check a blood test or order an imaging study to rule out post-biopsy
Infuse intravenous fluids.
The patient is discharged home.
Unless otherwise stated, patients must avoid aspirin and nonsteroidal
anti-inflammatory drugs (for example, ibuprofen) for at least one week after
biopsy. The patient is instructed to call the physician immediately in the event
that he or she experiences, chest pain, abdominal pain, dizziness, or shortness
The patient returns for follow-up in the physician's office one week later to
assess his or her post-biopsy symptoms (if any) and review the biopsy results.
Percutaneous liver biopsy is a procedure in which a long needle is introduced through the skin, subcutaneous tissues, intercostal muscles, and peritoneum into the liver to obtain a specimen of liver tissue.