Description of the Procedure
There are different techniques used to do a liver biopsy, including:
- Conventional liver biopsy
- Laparoscopic liver biopsy—done when the biopsy needs to be taken from a specific area of the liver
- Transvenous liver biopsy—done if your blood clots poorly or you have a lot of fluid in your abdomen
Conventional Liver Biopsy
You will lie on your back with your right hand behind your head. An
may be used to help guide the placement of the needle. The skin will be cleaned. Next, medication will be injected to numb the area. A small incision will be made. You will need to exhale and hold your breath while the needle is inserted. Sometimes, the needle will need to be inserted several times. After the procedure, the area will be bandaged.
Placement of Liver Biopsy Needle
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Laparoscopic Liver Biopsy
Your doctor will make a tiny incision. A long tool with a camera on the end will be passed into your abdomen in the area of the liver. It will send images of the liver to a TV screen. Additional incisions will be made to pass other tools. These tools will be used to remove samples of the liver.
Transvenous Liver Biopsy
A tiny flexible tube will be threaded into a vein in your neck or groin. This tube will be threaded all the way into the veins in your liver. A biopsy needle will be passed through the tube to get a biopsy sample.
Rest and avoid driving for at least 24 hours after the surgery. You may have to restrict certain activities, such as heavy lifting, until your doctor says it is okay to do so. Unless unwise advised, you can resume your normal diet.
The biopsy results will take 1-4 weeks. You and your doctor will discuss the results.