What is a needle biopsy of the lung?
A needle lung biopsy is a procedure to take a sample of lung tissue. The doctor puts a long needle through your chest to do this. Another doctor looks at the sample tissue with a microscope to check for infection, cancer, or other lung problems. This procedure is also called a percutaneous biopsy.
Before the procedure, you may get medicine to help you relax. Then the doctor gives you a numbing medicine in the skin where the needle will go. Next, the doctor makes a very small cut in the numbed skin. This cut is called an incision. The doctor puts the needle through the incision into your lung. X-ray, ultrasound, or CT scan pictures help guide the needle into the correct spot.
After the doctor takes a sample of lung tissue, they remove the needle. The doctor or a nurse puts a bandage over the incision and may put pressure on the area. You will lie on your side or stomach.
The procedure usually takes 30 to 60 minutes. But the needle will only be in your lung for a few seconds. You will probably go home several hours after the procedure.
It can take several days to get the results of the biopsy. The doctor or nurse will discuss the results with you.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
How do you prepare for the procedure?
Procedures can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for your procedure.
Preparing for the procedure
Be sure you have someone to take you home. Medicines you get during the procedure will make it unsafe for you to drive or get home on your own.
You will need to stop eating and drinking before the procedure. Your doctor will give you instructions.
Talk to your doctor when you have questions about what procedure is planned, along with the risks, benefits, and other options.
Tell your doctor ALL the medicines and natural health products you take. Some may increase the risk of problems during your procedure. Your doctor will tell you if you should stop taking any of them before the procedure and how soon to do it.
If you take aspirin or some other blood thinner, ask your doctor if you should stop taking it before your procedure. Make sure that you understand exactly what your doctor wants you to do. These medicines increase the risk of bleeding.
Make sure your doctor and the hospital have a copy of your advance care plan. If you don't have one, you may want to prepare one. It lets others know your health care wishes. It's a good thing to have before any type of surgery or procedure.
Where can you learn more?
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
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