Core Liver Biopsy

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A core liver biopsy is a procedure in which a small a piece of liver tissue is removed from the body using an automated hollow needle and examined and analyzed in a laboratory.

Need to Know

Nice to Know
  • You will be asked to change into a gown prior to the procedure
  • You may be instructed to fast prior to the biopsy
  • Prior to the procedure, you should provide your physician with a list of medications you are currently taking
  • You may be asked to have a blood test taken before the exam to check for blood clotting issues
  • Ultrasound is used to increase precision and guide the needle


Why is This Exam Done?

Core liver biopsies are typically performed after a person is diagnosed with a liver disease. The biopsy helps determine the cause and/or stage of the disease.

What Will Happen During the Exam?

You will be given a local anesthetic to numb the neck area, and a drug will be administered intravenously to provide you with the most comfort possible. Our experienced and caring physician will wait until the area is completely numb before proceeding. Once the area is numb the physician will make a small incision and using ultrasound guidance will place the needle into the liver tissue. It may be necessary to take more than once tissue sample. Once the sample is drawn it will be sent to a laboratory.

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How Should I Prepare?

  • You will be asked to change into a gown prior to the procedure
  • Inform your physician of any medications you are currently taking
  • After the procedure you may be monitored by a nursing staff for a few hours
  • You will need to plan on having a friend or family member drive you home
  • You may experience some soreness after the procedure, so it’s best to avoid strenuous activity for 24 hours after the biopsy
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What Are the Benefits and Risks?

The benefits of Core Liver Biopsy:

  • Recovery time is usually very quick. You should be back to a normal routine within 24 hours.
  • Core liver biopsies can be necessary for an accurate diagnosis, so treatment may begin as necessary
  • Core liver biopsies allow physicians the ability to use ultrasound to maximize precision in guiding the needle
  • Little or no scaring is caused by the biopsy

Risks you should be aware of:

  • There is a very small chance that blood from the needle site may get into the liver. However, this is a very rare occurrence.
  • There is a slight chance that a hemorrhage may occur during the procedure
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Where Can I Get This Exam?

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