Liver Biopsy In Ultrasound/Abdominal Imaging
Your doctor has scheduled a biopsy to be done on ________________. Please report to Radiology (G3/3) on the 3rd floor at ___________. Before the biopsy, our doctors will explain what will happen, answer any questions, and ask you to sign a consent form.
What Is a Liver Biopsy Done by Ultrasound?
A biopsy removes a small tissue sample from your liver. The procedure is guided by the use of ultrasound.
Ultrasound looks at deep structures by making an image from the sound waves which reflect back from the tissues. No radiation or “x-ray” is used.
How to Prepare for the Biopsy
- You may have lab tests done on the day of the test. We may draw blood for a platelet count and INR. This will be done then your IV is started.
- If you are taking blood thinners such as Coumadin (warfarin), heparin, Plavix, ibuprofen, naproxen, or daily aspirin someone from Ultrasound will call your doctor and discuss when you should stop taking it and when you should start again.
- If you have diabetes, please call your doctor to discuss how your medicine doses should change before this procedure. Test your blood sugar more often when you can’t eat as well as before the procedure. If your blood sugar level is low (less than 70 mg/dl) or you have symptoms, eat some glucose tablets or drink 4 ounces of a clear liquid with sugar. Always recheck your blood sugar level to make sure it stays above 70. We may still be able to do the procedure unless you need to eat solid food to keep your blood sugar at a normal level. If the blood sugar ever gets too high or too low and you can’t bring it back to normal, call your local doctor or diabetes doctor.
- Stop eating 6 hours _________ before the procedure. You may drink clear liquids until 2 hours __________ before the procedure. This includes black coffee, tea, water, and juices without pulp that you can see through.
- You will be given a mild sedative before the procedure. You must have someone drive you home.
During the Biopsy
Be sure to tell the radiologists if you have any allergies (contrast dye, antibiotics, anesthetic agents, etc.).
An IV will be used to give you fluids. Medicine for pain and/or anxiety is sometimes given. You can talk about this with the nurse or radiologist.
After a review of your x-rays, the radiologist, using ultrasound, will mark an area that will show the best place to insert the needle. After this, the area will be cleaned with special soap. The skin around the site will be numbed so you will have little pain. Most patients feel pressure, but not major pain..
Under ultrasound, the tissue sample is withdrawn using a special needle. One or more samples may be taken. The tissue samples are then sent for exam under the microscope.
After the Biopsy
- A bandage will be put on the site where the tissue sample was taken. You will remain in bed for 4 hours. During this time if you need to get up to use the bathroom, you can. Call the nurse for help if you need it. Your pulse, blood pressure and site will be checked often. After 4 hours, you will be discharged if there are no problems.
- After the local anesthetic wears off, you may feel some pain at the site. Your pain should not be severe. The pain is often described as somewhat sore. If you have pain at the site, use Tylenol® up to 3 times daily. You may talk to the doctor or nurse if you have questions about the dose. The pain should go away within the first 24 hours.
- You will not be able to eat or drink for 1 hour.
- Tell the nurse if you have new pain, nausea, vomiting, or chills.
Your Care at Home
- You may eat or drink what you like once you arrive home. Do not drink alcohol for the first 24 hours.
- Rest and take it easy for the first 24 hours. Do not lift greater than 10 pounds. Resume your normal routine after 24 hours.
- You may remove the bandage over the site the next morning.
- You may shower after 24 hours.
When to Call the Doctor
- If you have more than a teaspoon of bleeding at the site.
- If you feel dizzy, faint or light-headed.
- If your pain around the site gets worse rather than better 2-3 days later.
- If you are not feeling well and have a fever greater than 100.4°F (38°C).
- If you have any questions or problems once you are home.
During the day (7:30am – 4:30pm) call the Ultrasound department (608) 262-5279 or nurse (608) 261-5634.
If you live out of the area, please call 1-800-323-8942.
Evenings and weekends call your local doctor or report to your local emergency room.
Your doctor will discuss the results with you when they are available.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 12/01/2011
Copyright © 12/01/2011 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#6134
Print Health Fact For You