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
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
ξ You are prepared for your procedure in
our prep and recovery area before your
biopsy. We will start an IV and take
your blood pressure, pulse,
respirations, and temperature. This
makes sure you are safe to have the
procedure and can be given sedation.
ξ 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.
ξ 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.
ξ 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
ξ 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
ξ You are awake for the procedure.
You may be given Midazolam and
Fentanyl medicines in your IV to help
mildly sedate you before the
procedure. Please tell the nurse if you
have sleep apnea. Someone must
drive you home if you receive any
medicines. You should not drive or
make important personal or
business decisions until the next day.
During the Biopsy
Be sure to tell the radiologists if you have
any allergies (medicines, antibiotics,
anesthetic agents, etc.).
An IV will be used to give you fluids.
After a review of your x-rays, the radiologist
uses an ultrasound and marks an area that
will show the best place to insert the needle.
After this, the area is cleaned with special
soap. The skin around the site is numbed so
you will have little pain. Most patients feel
pressure, but not major pain.
Under ultrasound, the tissue sample is taken
out 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
ξ A bandage is put on the site where the
tissue sample was taken. You remain
in bed for 2-4 hours. During this time
you are able to get up to use the
bathroom. Call the nurse for help if
you need it. Your pulse, blood
pressure and site will be checked often.
After 2-4 hours, you will be
discharged if there are no problems.
ξ 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® or Ibuprofen 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.
ξ You are not able to eat or drink for 1
ξ Tell the nurse if you have new pain,
nausea, vomiting, or chills.
Your Care at Home
ξ You may eat or drink what you like
once you arrive home. Do not drink
alcohol for the first 24 hours.
ξ Rest and take it easy for the first 24
hours. Do not lift greater than 10
pounds. Resume your normal routine
after 24 hours.
ξ You may remove the bandage over the
site the next morning.
ξ You may shower after 24 hours.
When to Call the Doctor
ξ If you have more than a teaspoon of
bleeding at the site.
ξ If you feel dizzy, faint or light-
ξ If your pain around the site gets
worse rather than better 2-3 days
ξ If you are not feeling well and have a
fever greater than 100.4 θ F (38 θ C).
ξ 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.
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you have any
questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This is not medical advice. This
is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each person’s health needs are different, you should
talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911.
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