Image guided biopsy
What is an image guided biopsy?
Biopsy is a procedure in which samples of tissue (core) or fluid (aspiration) are taken through a needle and sometimes under local anaesthetic. This may be performed using ultrasound guidance or CT (Computed Tomography) scan.
The radiologist will insert a needle to take a sample of cells, which are then sent to a pathology laboratory where a specialist pathology doctor will interpret the specimen. The pathology report will be sent to your referring doctor who will then convey these results to you.
No preparation is required.
Anticoagulants - If you take blood thinners such as Warfarin or Aspirin you may need to stop this medication prior to the procedure. Please discuss this with your doctor and inform us when you make your appointment.
Heart valve replacement - If you have a heart valve replacement, please discuss this with your doctor and inform us when you make your appointment.
The procedure may be undertaken using either ultrasound or CT to localise the biopsy site.
Our radiologist will discuss the procedure and associated risks with you. The area to be biopsied will be checked and an area of skin will be cleaned with an antiseptic.
The radiologist may inject a local anaesthetic to numb the skin, and insert a needle to obtain some tissue. Several samples of tissue may be required.
The sample(s) will be sent to Pathology for study and the pathologist will send a report to your referring doctor. This usually takes two to four days.
Depending on the area biopsied you may be required to have an x-ray immediately after the biopsy. You may then be observed in our clinic for up to four hours.
The whole procedure will take between 30 and 60 minutes to complete.
Rarely are there any significant complications such as infection or excess bleeding.
You may feel more comfortable having someone with you to drive you home, however this is not always necessary.
Liver biopsy patients are required to remain at the clinic for approximately one hour following the procedure and organise for someone to drive you home.
You will need to take the rest of the day off work.
Following the procedure there may be some discomfort. If required, a simple analgesic such as Panadol (not Aspirin) should be sufficient. You should avoid strenuous activity for 24 hours following the biopsy.
If you experience any issues or have any questions post procedure we urge you to call the clinic where the procedure took place, and seek advice/assistance from the radiologist who performed the procedure.
This information is credited to Inside Radiology, Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiology (RANZCR). insideradiology.com.au June 2014