A liver biopsy is a test that takes a sample of tissue from the liver for examination.
Biopsy - liver; Percutaneous biopsy
How the Test is Performed
Most of the time, the test is done in the hospital. Before the test is done, you may be given a medicine to prevent pain or to calm you (sedative).
The biopsy may be done through the abdominal wall:
- You will lie on your back with your right hand under your head. You need to stay as still as you can.
- The health care provider will find the correct spot for the biopsy needle to be inserted into the liver. This is often done by using ultrasound.
- The skin is cleaned, and numbing medicine is injected into the area using a small needle.
- A small cut is made, and the biopsy needle is inserted.
- You will be told to hold your breath while the biopsy is taken. This is to reduce the chance of damage to the lung or liver.
- The needle is removed quickly.
- Pressure will be applied to stop the bleeding. A bandage is placed over the insertion site.
The procedure can also be done by inserting a needle into the jugular vein.
- If the procedure is performed this way, you will lie on your back.
- X-rays will be used to guide the health care provider to the vein.
- A special needle and catheter (thin tube) is used to take the biopsy sample.
If you receive sedation for this test, you will need someone to drive you home.