Percutaneous Liver Biopsy

Patient time for test: 10 to 15 minutes

Where the test is performed:
*Hospital, doctor's office, free-standing surgical center. Specimen is tested in a pathology laboratory.

Risks and Precautions:
*Surgical risk increases with:
-Poor nutrition
-Recent or chronic illness
-Use of some drugs, such as anti-hypertensives, muscle relaxants, tranquilizers, sleep inducers, insulin, sedatives, beta-adrenergic blocker or cortisone
-Use of mind-altering drugs, including narcotics, psychedelics, hallucinogens, marijuana, desatives, hypnotics or cocaine

*Tell your doctor about any medication you take.
*Tell your doctor if you have any reaction to anesthetics
*Before this procedure is performed, a prothrombin time and platelet count are done. Results are noted on your record.
*For your comfort, empty your bladder before the procedure.

Patient preparation:
*Don't eat any food or drink any liquid for at least 12 hours before the test.
*Remove all clothing, except panties or shorts. Put on surgical gown.

Equipment used:
*Adhesive bandage
*Antiseptic solution
*Biopsy needle, with syringe attached
*Local anesthetic
*Saline solution
*Specimen cup

Description of the test:
*You or a close relative will be required to sign a consent form after the procedure has been explained to you.
*Lie down on your side with your right hand under your head.
*Remain as still as possible during the procedure.
*Skin is cleaned with antiseptic.
*The anesthetic is administered. The procedure does not begin until you are numb.
*There will be temporary, mild pain from the injection of local anesthetic.
*When the anesthetic takes effect, the surgeon inserts the biopsy needle into the liver.
*You may experience pain similar to a punch on the shoulder when the biopsy needle goes in.
*Hold your breath while the biopsy needle is in place.
*The needle is withdrawn after about 1 second.
*Breathe normally after the needle is withdrawn.
*Adhesive bandage is applied to the biopsy site.
*Tissue is sent to the laboratory for analysis.

Immediate post-test care:
*Your pulse, blood pressure, breathing status and temperature are checked at regular intervals until they are stable.
*Apply pressure to biopsy site to control bleeding.

Activity after test:
*Rest for 24 hours
*Lie on your right side for the first 2 hours, with a pillow under your waist to help stop bleeding.
*Possible complications from this procedure include bleeding, tenderness and rigidity around the biopsy site. Be alert for any symptoms of a collapsed lung, such as faster breathing rate, labored breathing, persistent shoulder pain or chest pain. Notify your doctors *immediately* if any of these symptoms occur.
*If you experience pain for several hours following the test, ask for pain medication.
*Resume normal diet when able.

Time before test results available:
*Time before results are reported to the doctor or patient varies from a few minutes to a few days.

Normal values:
*Normal liver tissue

What "abnormal" may indicate:
*Many forms of liver disease, including infectious, inflammatory and degenerative liver disease.
*Tumors of the liver

Taking these drugs may affect test results:
*None expected

Other factors that may affect test results:
*Failure to fast overnight

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