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CT Guided Biopsy

A CT guided biopsy is an interventional procedure which involves the insertion of a biopsy needle into the body in order to collect a tissue sample from the area of interest.

Preparation for Your Exam

Please avoid eating solid foods and drinking liquids other than water for 6-8 hours prior to the examination. Routing medications may be taken. If you are diabetic, consult with your doctor regarding insulin dose.

You are scheduled to arrive one hour before your procedure to allow for preparation. If your procedure is scheduled on the West campus, you will report to the Day Care unit on the 8 th floor of the Farr Building. If your procedure is scheduled on the East campus, you will report to the Radiology department on the 3 rd floor of the Rabb Building. Upon arriving you will have a complete pre-procedure workup performed by the Radiology nursing staff. This workup involves starting an IV, drawing blood, and meeting with the radiologist to discuss the biopsy procedure and obtain your written consent.

What happens in the CT room?

You will be brought into the CT room and asked to lie on an x-ray table. A CT scan of your body will be taken to determine the best area of approach to the tissue of interest. The radiologist will then clean off the skin over the determined area of interest with a special soap. You will be given numbing medication in the skin through a small needle. You will feel a pinch as the numbing medicine is injected. You should not feel any pain after this. The radiologist will then insert a small biopsy needle through the numbed area of skin and into the tissue of interest. You may feel some pressure when this happens. Once the needle is in the right place small tissue samples will be taken and later examined by the Pathology Department. The biopsy needle will then be removed and your skin will be cleaned off again, a Band-Aide will be applied over the spot.

Will it hurt

There may be some discomfort associated with this procedure. Many cases can be performed with a local anesthesia (similar to Novocaine used by dentists). More involved cases generally will require the administration of painkillers and/or anti-anxiety medications. The most involved procedures generally will involve insertion of a small intravenous line and monitoring by our Radiology nursing staff in order to administer medications intravenously. Every effort is made to minimize any discomfort during the procedure.

How long will it take?

Interventional procedures in general last anywhere from 30-90 minutes, depending on the size of the area of interest and the number of tissue samples being taken. A CT biopsy will necessitate a post-procedure observation period of 2-4 hours to ensure no complications resulting from the biopsy.

After The Exam

You should feel well, but may experience some tenderness around the area that the biopsy needle was inserted.

Here are some guidelines for how to care for yourself after the biopsy:

  • Take it easy. Do not strain, lift heavy objects, or do physical exercise for the first 24 hours after your biopsy.
  • Please do not take aspirin or aspirin-like products (i.e. Motrin, Advil, Nuprin, or Aleve) for 3 weeks unless your doctor says it's all right.
  • Keep the area of skin around the site clean and dry.

Getting Your Results

The pathology results from the tissue samples collected will be sent to your doctor about 7 days after the biopsy. He (She) will then discuss them with you.