Lung Biopsy Recovery

Lung biopsy is a method for collecting a small sample of lung tissue for testing. The tissue is generally tested under a microscope, and may be referred to a microbiological laboratory for culture. It is performed by a pathologist.

Precautions Before Biopsy of Lung

The patient is advised to stop eating or drinking anything at least 12 hours prior to the biopsy of lung.

Smoking Cessation

Patients who will undergo surgery should quit smoking and stop using tobacco products as well. The patient must be dedicated to be a nonsmoker after the procedure. Patients who could stop smoking or using tobacco are several weeks prior to surgical procedures have least post-operative complications. Smoking cessation programs are also offered in several communities. The patient should seek more information from a health care professional if he or she needs help with smoking cessation.

Informed Consent

Informed consent is an educational method between healthcare professional and patients. Before any procedure is conducted, the patient is expected to sign a consent form. Before putting signature on the form, the patient should realize the nature and purpose of the diagnostic procedure or treatment, its risks, benefits, alternatives, encompassing the substitutes of not proceeding with the test or treatment as a whole. During the visit, the health care professionals are available to answer the patient's queries about the consent form and its procedure.

Precautions After Biopsy of Lung

Needle Biopsy

If a needle biopsy is conducted, the patient is permitted to rest comfortably. Patient may require lying flat for two hours before the procedure to prevent the risk of bleeding. The nurse checks the patient's physical condition in two-hour intervals. If no complications are recorded within four hours, the patient can be discharged to go home once he or she has given the instructions about resuming normal activities. It is advisable to take rest for some day prior to returning to regular schedule of activities, and avoiding rigorous physical activities for one week after the biopsy.

Open Biopsy, VATS, or Mediastinoscopy

In case of an open biopsy, VATS, or mediastinoscopy, the patient is carried to the recovery room for observation. The patient gets oxygen via a face mask or nasal cannula. If no complications are recorded, the patient is taken to a hospital room. Temperature, blood pressure, blood oxygen level, pulse, and respiration are studied. Chest tubes are left intact after surgery to stop the lungs from collapsing, and to flush out blood and fluids. The tubes are generally removed the next day after the procedure.

After getting instructions about resuming daily activities and taking good care of the incision, the patient generally leaves for home the day after surgery. The patient must not drive while being on narcotic pain medication.

Patients may feel tiredness and muscle pains for a day or two due to the influence of general anesthesia. The patient can slowly increase activities, as much as it is tolerable. Walking is suggested. Sutures are generally removed after 7 to 15 days.

The physician should immediately be called upon if the patient experiences acute pain, light-headedness, or difficulty in breathing after the procedure.

Recovery Time

The recovery of patient depends on the type of procedure that was opted for. If the doctor has performed needle biopsy or used a bronchoscope, the patient may cough out some blood after the biopsy. After needle biopsy, you would be released after four hours or so after the procedure. In case of open biopsy, you may experience some pain at the incision location and you may feel fatigue and groggy as being under the influence of the general anesthesia. You can get rid of your stitches two weeks after the procedure.

Recovery time is not long and patients can resume their daily activities very soon.