Biopsy for Musculoskeletal Radiology Patients
What is a Biopsy?
A needle is inserted through your skin into
the bone or soft tissue to take a small sample
to be studied. The biopsy will be done using
fluoroscopy, computerized axial
tomography or ultrasound. Fluoroscopy is
a device that views structures in the body
using x-rays that can be viewed by your
doctor on a TV screen. Computerized Axial
Tomography (CT or CAT scan) is a series of
detailed pictures taken of the body using a
special type of x-rays. Ultrasound is a
device that uses sound waves to form
images of organs and other areas inside the
How to Prepare for your Biopsy
▪ All Biopsy patients:The Nurse
Coordinator will review your
allergies and medications with you.
Further instructions will be provided
if you take blood thinners, such as
Plavix or Coumadin; or, if you take
medications for diabetes.
▪ You will be asked to stop taking
aspirin seven days before the
▪ You will be asked to stop taking
antiinflammatory drugs) like
Ibuprofen, Aleve, or Advil, two days
prior to your procedure.
▪ Nothing to eat or drink for 6 hours
before the procedure. You may take
your medications with a sip of water.
▪ If you have sleep apnea, you will
need to bring your CPAP or BiPAP
machine with you on the day of the
▪ Bring inhalers and any medications
you will need with you.
▪ You must have a friend or family
member drive you to the hospital and
take you home.
▪ Do not drive or make important
personal or business decisions until
the next day.
On the day of the procedure, enter the
hospital through the clinic entrance and take
the Atrium elevators to the 3rd floor. Check
in at the (G3/3) Radiology desk.
If you are having a Biopsy without
A technician will bring you to the procedure
room. The doctor will meet you in the room
to explain the risks and benefits of the
procedure; and, answer all your questions or
concerns. After your questions have been
answered, you will sign a consent form.
Once you have given consent, you will be
positioned on a cart or procedure table. A
radiology technologist will be there to assist
the doctor. The area where the biopsy will
be done will be cleaned with soap. The
doctor will numb the skin where the biopsy
is taken. The doctor will then insert a needle
through the skin into the soft tissue where a
sample will be removed. The doctor may do
this a few times to make sure there are
enough samples. A dressing will be placed
over the procedure site.
If you are having a Biopsy that requires
You will be taken to a preparation area
where you will change into a gown. An
intravenous (IV) line will be placed in your
vein by a nurse. The doctor will meet you in
the prep room to explain the risks and
benefits of the procedure; and, answer all
your questions or concerns. After your
questions have been answered, you will sign
a consent form.
At this point, you will be brought to the
procedure room on a cart. You will be
transferred to a procedure table. A nurse will
give you medicine to relax you and lessen
your pain. During this time, your blood
pressure, oxygen level, heart rhythm, and
heart rate will be checked often. The area
where the biopsy will be done will be
cleaned with soap. The doctor will numb the
skin where the biopsy is taken. The doctor
will then insert a needle through the skin
into the bone or soft tissue where a sample
will be removed. The doctor may do this a
few times to make sure there are enough
samples. A dressing will be placed over the
After the Biopsy
You may feel a little sore. We suggest
taking Tylenol or your pain medicines. The
soreness often last for 24 hours. It’s okay to
shower, but no bath tubs, hot tubs, or
swimming for at least 3 days.
If you received sedation:
Once the procedure is over, you will be
transferred to the recovery room where they
will monitor your blood pressure, heart rate,
and oxygen level. Once you are awake, you
can have something to eat. You will be
watched for the next 2 hours in the hospital.
After that time, you will be allowed to go
home. A nurse will call you several days
after the procedure.
When to contact the Radiologist
Please contact your doctor right away if the
area around the site becomes red, swollen,
or more painful. You have a white or yellow
pus or drainage from the site. You have a
fever greater than 100.4º F or 38º C.
▪ Musculoskeletal Nurse Coordinator:
▪ After 5:00 p.m. or weekends, call
(608) 263-6400. Please ask for the
Bone Radiologist. Leave your name
and phone number with the area
code. The doctor will call you back.
If you live out of the area, call
▪ If you need to reschedule, call
(608) 263-6871 between 8:00 a.m. to
▪ If you are in need of immediate help,
call 911 or go to the nearest
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. Copyright © 8/2016 University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing HF#6314.