Percutaneous biopsy is minimally invasive, causes little pain and requires usually a tiny incision. Most percutaneous needle biopsy procedures are performed with image guidance, with x-rays, ultrasound or CT. Patients undergo percutaneous biopsy procedures while awake or with moderate sedation. Many patients resume their normal lifestyle and routine the same day of the procedure.
We perform the following image-guided biopsies:
• Lung biopsy
• Liver biopsy
• Thyroid biopsy
• Abdominal mass biopsy
• Kidney (Native or transplant) biopsy
• Bone biopsy
• Lymph node biopsy
What to expect
The skin above the region to be biopsied is cleansed. In some cases, the region of the biopsy needle insertion will be anesthetized with a small hypodermic needle before the sampling needle is placed. In addition, a general sedative is sometimes used to further reduce discomfort. During the needle biopsy, patients may experience a slight pressure but should not experience any pain. Typically, several samples are removed. The samples will be sent to the pathology laboratory for diagnosis. The length of the exam can vary up to an hour, depending on the type of biopsy being performed. During the procedure, the patient will be informed of what is occurring and what he or she will need to do to assist in the exam. Typically the patient needs to cooperate and remain still. For biopsy of the lung or upper abdomen or liver, patients may be required to hold their breath during the imaging portion of the biopsy and during the needle placement. There will be some minor bleeding when the needle is placed. For biopsy that involves passing the needle near a rib, patient discomfort may be greater because of the sensitivity of the rib bone. This should not be cause for alarm. In general, patients should try to relax and remain calm and still during a biopsy.