Biopsy of Liver Process

A biopsy may be conducted when a doctor suspects hepatitis or other liver disorders. There are two general processes. In first type of procedure a special needle is inserted into the liver to get a tissue sample. The other one is performed laparoscopically, wherein long and thin tools are inserted into the abdomen facilitating small incisions. The laparoscopic process allows sampling a particular region of the liver. 

Materials Required for Biopsy Liver

Minimum Equipment

Biopsy instrument: 14 gauge 20 cm biopsy needle. Ultrasound machine with a potential visualizing liver (3-7 MHz) and alcohol or ultrasound gel

Minimum Consumables

Local anesthetic, (almost 10 ml mepivacaine), scalpel blade, skin staples, or 2/0 non-absorbable synthetic suture material (monofilament nylon) are consumed. 

Preparation Time Required

Sedation and local anesthesia will become effective within 10 minutes. Aseptic preparation will also take 10 minutes.


It is based on the seriousness of liver disease. 

Other Procedural Requirements 

You should contact your insurance company to clarify coverage and ascertain whether a referral is required. You will be said to pre-register with the right clinic and offer demographic and insurance information. This must be taken care of within minimum five to ten days prior to the surgery schedule. Your surgeon will provide you with specific instructions on how to get ready for the procedure.

Preparation Prior to Biopsy of Liver

You will visit a pre-operative nursing unit, where you will be asked to slip into a hospital gown. A nurse will go through your chart and confirm that all documents are in order. You will be carried to a pre-operative place and an anesthesiologist will begin with an IV. Prior to any drugs are used your surgeon will confirm your name and the type of process you are having. You will then be carried to the operating room. After the right type of anesthesia is administered, the doctor will head for the surgery.

Type of Anesthesia Used

You will have a pre-operative questionnaire session with an anesthesiologist who will ask you questions pertaining to your medical history. With the needle biopsy, you will get an anesthetic intravenously to relax you. You will also be anesthetized on the site where the needle will be inserted. If the biopsy is performed using laparoscopically process, local anesthetic will be administered. With this, you will be awaked during the surgery, and only the incision site will require to be anesthetized.

How Biopsy of Liver is performed

In the needle biopsy, you will be instructed to lie on your side. While you hold your breath, your physician will insert a needle into your liver. During insertion your breath must be carefully controlled to ensure that nearby organs and cells are not damaged by the needle.

If the biopsy is performed using laparoscopically process, your surgeon will create three to four small incisions, and insert tube-like devices through them. The abdomen will be filled with gas to allow the surgeon to see the abdominal cavity. A camera will inserted using the same passage of tubes that will display images on a monitor placed in the operating room. Other instruments will be placed using the additional tubes. In this way, your surgeon will work inside your abdomen without creating painful larger incision. After a particular region of the liver is ascertained, the tissue sample will be taken.

Back to Normal Activities

Light activity is encouraged post surgery. You may be discharged from the hospital to return to normal activities like showering, driving, taking stairs, light lifting, and work within a limited days after the laparoscopic procedure. If you are advised to take narcotic medications for pain, you will be advised not to drive.

Reasons for Treatment Failure

Some of the prominent reasons for treatment failure may include failure to acquire suitable biopsy whether in amount, quality or nature.

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