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Liver Biopsy

A liver biopsy is a medical procedure in which a small amount of liver tissue is surgically removed so it can be analyzed in a laboratory. Liver biopsies are usually done to evaluate disease, such as cirrhosis, or to detect infection, inflammation, or cancerous cells.

Who Needs Liver Biopsy

Liver biopsy may be recommended for individuals who:

  • Have abnormal liver function test results, indicating possible liver disease.
  • Have an enlarged liver or spleen detected during a physical examination.
  • Show signs or symptoms of liver disease, such as jaundice, unexplained weight loss, or abdominal pain.
  • Require a more accurate diagnosis to determine the specific type and severity of liver disease.
  • Need to monitor the progression or response to treatment of a known liver condition.
  • Are being evaluated for liver transplantation.

When to See a Specialist

It is important to consult with a hepatologist, gastroenterologist, or a specialist experienced in liver diseases to determine if a liver biopsy is necessary. They will evaluate your medical history, symptoms, and test results to determine if a biopsy is warranted.


  • Preparation: Before the procedure, you may be asked to refrain from eating or drinking for a certain period to ensure an empty stomach. An intravenous (IV) line may be inserted to administer medications and fluids during the procedure.
  • Positioning: You will lie on your back or your left side on an examination table. The right side is most commonly used for the biopsy procedure.
  • Anesthesia: A local anesthetic is administered to numb the area where the biopsy will be performed. In some cases, a sedative may be given to help you relax.
  • Biopsy Needle Insertion: The healthcare provider will make a small incision or puncture in the skin and insert a biopsy needle through the incision or between the ribs to reach the liver. This is usually guided by ultrasound or other imaging techniques to ensure accurate needle placement.
  • Tissue Sample Collection: The biopsy needle is used to extract a small tissue sample from the liver. You may feel pressure or a dull pain during this part of the procedure. The healthcare provider may take multiple samples to ensure an adequate representation of the liver tissue.
  • Needle Removal and Pressure Application: Once the tissue sample is obtained, the biopsy needle is carefully withdrawn. Pressure may be applied to the biopsy site to minimize bleeding and facilitate the formation of a blood clot.
  • Bandage and Recovery: A sterile bandage or dressing is applied to the biopsy site. You may be required to lie on your right side for a few hours to further minimize the risk of bleeding.

Road to Recovery

After a liver biopsy, it is common to experience some discomfort or pain in the area of the biopsy site. Most individuals can resume their normal activities within a day or two. However, strenuous activities and heavy lifting should be avoided for at least a week to allow the liver to heal.

Risk Management

Liver biopsy is generally considered a safe procedure, but there are certain risks and complications to be aware of. These may include:

  • Pain or discomfort at the biopsy site.
  • Bleeding or hematoma formation at the biopsy site.
  • Injury to nearby organs, such as the gallbladder or lungs.
  • Infection, although rare, can occur at the biopsy site.
  • Rarely, a severe complication called bile peritonitis can occur if the bile ducts are damaged during the biopsy.

Benefits of Liver Biopsy

Liver biopsy provides several benefits, including:

  • Accurate diagnosis: Liver biopsy helps in determining the precise cause and severity of liver diseases or conditions.
  • Treatment guidance: The biopsy results guide healthcare professionals in developing an appropriate treatment plan.
  • Monitoring disease progression: Serial liver biopsies can help monitor the progression or regression of liver diseases over time.
  • Research purposes: Liver biopsy samples can be used for research to further understand liver diseases and develop new treatment strategies.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is liver biopsy painful?

Most individuals experience mild discomfort or pain during a liver biopsy. Local anesthesia is administered to minimize any pain during the procedure.

2. How long does a liver biopsy take?

The actual biopsy procedure usually takes around 10 to 15 minutes. However, the overall process, including preparation and recovery time, may take a few hours.

3. Are there alternatives to liver biopsy?

Non-invasive alternatives to liver biopsy, such as imaging techniques (ultrasound, MRI, fibroscan) and blood tests (e.g., FibroTest, FibroScan), may provide valuable information about liver health in certain cases.

4. Can I eat or drink before a liver biopsy?

You may be asked to refrain from eating or drinking for a specific period before the procedure to ensure an empty stomach.

5. How long does it take to recover from a liver biopsy?

Most individuals can resume their normal activities within a day or two after a liver biopsy. However, you should avoid strenuous activities and heavy lifting for at least a week.

Treatians As The Best Choice

Treatians understand that seeking medical treatment abroad can be a daunting experience for patients and their families. That’s why the company offers end-to-end support to its clients, from the initial consultation to post-treatment care. The company provides personalized treatment plans that are tailored to meet the individual needs of each patient, and its team of dedicated professionals is always on hand to provide guidance and support throughout the entire process. Contact us at +91-9560960088, drop your email



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General Surgery

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Service Recipient Says

Oxmox advised her not to do so, because there were thousands of bad Commas, wild Question Marks and devious.

Kolis Muller NY Citizen

Oxmox advised her not to do so, because there were thousands of bad Commas, wild Question Marks and devious.

Kolis Muller NY Citizen

Oxmox advised her not to do so, because there were thousands of bad Commas, wild Question Marks and devious.

Kolis Muller NY Citizen