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LIVER BIOPSY

What is a Liver Biopsy?

A liver biopsy is a procedure whereby a small piece of liver tissue is obtained to exam under a microscope. Biopsies are done for several different reasons. Most commonly a biopsy is taken for the evaluation of certain liver diseases to determine the severity of inflammation and scarring in the liver. Sometimes biopsies are done to determine the cause of elevated liver enzymes when other testing has been negative. Finally, liver biopsies can be performed in patients with lesions in the liver to test for tumors both benign and malignant.

Biopsies are performed with local anesthetic, although intravenous sedation may be given to help relax the patient. The procedure involves placing a small needle through the skin into the liver using either ultrasound or CT scan to ensure proper placement.

The results of the biopsy are usually available in 1-2 weeks and patients are asked to schedule a follow up appointment to review the results with the physician.

PRE-OP INSTRUCTIONS
  • You must have blood test done at least 1 week prior to liver biopsy.
  • Avoid aspirin or aspirin products or blood thinners for 5 days prior to liver biopsy
POST-OP INSTRUCTIONS
  • Do not take any aspirin or aspirin products for 5 days after biopsy. Tylenol is permitted.
  • No heavy lifting, jogging or strenuous exercise for 5 days.

When your test results are received in the office you will be notified to schedule a follow-up appointment to discuss the results and further plan of care with the physician. Liver biopsy results are not discussed or reviewed by the staff over the phone. If you have any questions, please call the office.