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Liver Biopsy Side Effects

The liver is one of the prominent and largest organs, situated in the right upper abdomen, underneath the rib cage.  It performs several functions that are critical to life.

A liver biopsy is a process that involves extracting a small piece of liver tissue, which is then evaluated in the laboratory. Biopsy of liver may be suggested to diagnose a medical trouble or determine the seriousness of liver disease.

Procedure of Biopsy of Liver

Most liver biopsies are conducted in a hospital. On arrival for the biopsy (most often than not in the early morning), a physician or a nurse will review your medical background, encompassing drugs used and allergies. You may get an IV line placed into a vein so that drugs or fluid can be administered if needed.

You may be administered medicines to alleviate discomfort and anxiety. As your cooperation is required during a liver biopsy, you will preferably not be allowed to sleep.

The biopsy takes a few seconds as the biopsy needle is passed inside the liver and the sample tissue is taken out.  A small bandage will be placed to the biopsy site; stitches are not recommended.

Complications with Biopsy of Liver

A biopsy of liver is a very safe process when conducted by an experienced doctor. The most common complications include slight pain and a slight reduce in blood pressure. More severe complications like inflection, bleeding, and injury to surrounding organs, are very rare.

Precautions after Biopsy of Liver

Following the biopsy of liver you will be instructed to lie on your right side, and an attendant will record your blood pressure and pulse occasionally. Many patients watch television or a video, can also read, or talk with friends or family members.

You will need to get someone to carry you home after the biopsy of liver as sedative medications are often administered and you will not be in a position to do any work on your own for some time. A friend or family member can also pass your time in the hospital during some couple of hours of observation after the biopsy of liver.

Apart from taking rest on the day of the biopsy, you should schedule to take it easy for the next five to seven days, almost a week. Generally you should not lift more than 15 to 20 pounds for this period of time, also avoid blood thinning drugs for a couple of days (as suggested by the physician). Call your health care provider if you witness any worrying symptoms, including the following:

  • Chest pain

  • Heart palpitations

  • Fever (temperature greater than 100.4ºF or 38ºC)

  • Bleeding from the biopsy site

  • Severe pain at the biopsy site or often in the shoulder

  • Breath shortness

  • Stomach pain

  • Sweating and weakness

Biopsy of Liver Results

The biopsy of liver report is basically available within a couple of days to a week after the biopsy. Call your doctor or schedule a follow-up appointment to discuss the outcomes of the biopsy and what treatment (if any) is required.


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