Percutaneous liver biopsy is a procedure to take a tiny sample (biopsy) of your liver tissue. Percutaneous (say "per-kew-TAY-nee-us) means "through the skin." The procedure is also called aspiration biopsy or fine-needle aspiration. The tissue sample is looked at under a microscope. Your doctor can look for infection or other liver problems.
You may have some pain where the biopsy needle entered your skin (the puncture site). You may also have pain in your shoulder. This is called referred pain. It is caused by pain travelling along a nerve near the biopsy site. The referred pain usually lasts less than 12 hours. You may have a small amount of bleeding from the puncture site.
You will need to take it easy at home for 1 or 2 days after the procedure. You will probably be able to return to work and most of your usual activities after that.
This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for you to recover. But each person recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to get better as quickly as possible.
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.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if you have any problems.
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Current as of:
February 19, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
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