Liver Biopsy


During a liver biopsy, small tissue is removed from the liver and examined for damage or disease.  The infected tissue is removed from the liver through a special needle.  A liver biopsy is conducted when it has been determined that the liver is not functioning properly.  This procedure remains one of the best methods in determining the health of the liver.

The procedure is performed at the hospital where you will lie on your back.  A local anesthetic will be applied to numb the area and an incision is performed on the rib cage.  This is a small incision that enables the needle to fit through.  A sample of liver tissue is obtained, you may feel pressure or dull pain while the needle is in your liver.  This process takes an average of 20 minutes to complete.

There are multiple methods of liver biopsy performed by physicians.  This includes laparoscopic biopsy and transvenous biopsy.  Laparoscopic biopsy utilizes a tube known as a laparoscope.  This sends image of the liver to the monitor where the physician will evaluate its condition.   During a transvenous biopsy, a tube known as a catheter is inserted through the neck and guided towards the liver.  This procedure is performed to correct blood-clots in the abdomen.

After the procedure, a bandage will be placed over the incision and pressed for 1-2 hours.  Your vital signs will be monitored as well during this process.  You must go home and remain in bed for at least 8-12 hours.  It is also recommended to avoid extraneous physical activity and work.  Tylenol can be prescribed for any pain, however, aspirin or ibuprofen is prohibited the first week after surgery.  They can decrease blood clotting and decrease the rate of healing.

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