A percutaneous (say "per-kew-TAY-nee-us") 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 needle biopsy.
Before the procedure, you may get medicine to help you relax. Then the doctor gives you a shot of 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. He or she 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, he or she removes 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.
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 call line 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.
Procedures can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for your procedure.
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Current as of: May 12, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& David C. Stuesse, MD - Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery
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