A Liver Biopsy is the medical procedure which involves removing a small piece of liver tissue so that it can be examined under a microscope for various signs of any damage or disease related to the liver. The most important reason for Liver Biopsy is the detection of abnormal cells in liver such as cancerous cells and diagnosing a specific liver disease such as cirrhosis or fatty liver. The doctor also recommends Liver Biopsy Procedure when the results of blood or any imaging test indicate that there are some problems with the liver.

The liver is central organ in the human body as it performs some most important functions which include: produces enzymes and proteins which are essential for metabolic processes, helps in removing impurities from the blood, fights infections, and stores some essential nutrients. The Liver Biopsy Procedure plays a significant role in the diagnosis of the liver disease because if any problem with your liver is not diagnosed at an early stage then it may become life-threatening. Early detection and a proper customized treatment plan are important for complete cure of the underlying liver disease or problem.

Preparation for the Procedure:

Before the procedure, you meet the doctor and talk about what to expect during the procedure and this is the best time, you can ask every question to the doctor about Liver Biopsy benefits and risks and discuss all your concerns.

For the preparation of Liver Biopsy, the doctor reviews your complete medical history and performs a physical examination and blood test. If you are taking any medications that can affect bleeding such as pain relievers, blood thinners or supplements then make sure to tell the doctor about these. Avoid drinking or eating for up to eight hours before the treatment. You must need to arrange someone who helps you by driving home after the procedure.

The procedure of Liver Biopsy:

A Liver Biopsy can be done at outpatient center or hospital. Before the procedure, the doctor gives you sedative through the intravenous (IV) line to make you relax during the procedure.

There are three types of Liver Biopsies and there are different steps involved in each of them. These include:

1.Percutaneous Biopsy
2.Transjugular Biopsy
3.Laparoscopic Biopsy

Let’s see how these types of Liver Biopsies are performed:

Percutaneous Biopsy:

It is also called as needle biopsy and is most common among other types of biopsies. At first, the doctor locates the liver by tapping on the abdomen or with the help of ultrasound images. You lie on your back and position your right hand above your head. The doctor applies a numbing medication on the area where a thin biopsy needle needs to be inserted. After that, the doctor makes a small incision near the bottom of the rib cage on right side and inserts a thin biopsy needle to remove a small piece of tissue as the needle passes through the liver.

Transjugular Biopsy:

You lie on your back on the X-Ray table. At first, the doctor applies a numbing medication on one side of the neck and makes a small incision through which a thin flexible plastic tube is inserted into the jugular vein (it brings deoxygenated blood from head to the heart). The tube passes through jugular vein down into the large vein in the liver called as hepatic vein (it drains deoxygenated blood from the liver). After that, the doctor injects a contrast dye into the tube and takes a series of X-Ray images. The dye shows up on the images that allow the doctor to locate the hepatic vein. Then, the biopsy needle is threaded down the tube to remove one or more small liver tissue samples. After taking the samples, the tube is carefully removed and the incision is closed with stitches and properly covered with a bandage.

How Is The Procedure Of Liver Biopsy Performed?

Laparoscopic Biopsy:

During this type of Liver Biopsy, general anesthesia is given to the patient. You lie on your back on operating table and the doctor makes one or more small incisions in your abdomen. Then, special tube-like instruments are inserted through these small incisions and the tiny video camera on these instruments projects the images on a monitor placed in the operating room. With the help of these video images, the doctor directs the instruments to the liver where tissue samples are removed. After that, the instruments are carefully taken out and the incisions are closed with stitches.

After Liver Biopsy Procedure:

Immediately after the procedure, you will be taken to a recovery room where your blood pressure, breathing, and pulse will be monitored. You need to take rest for at least 2-4 hours or longer than that if you have had a transjugular biopsy. There may be some soreness at the site of the needle but it lasts for few days. You need to have someone to drive you home. Avoid lifting anything more than 10-15 pounds for one week. However, you will get back to your normal activities after few days.

Results of Liver Biopsy:

The tissue sample will be sent to the laboratory for testing and examination. The biopsy report may take few weeks. When the report is received, the doctor calls you for a follow-up appointment to share and explain the Liver Biopsy results. A liver disease may be diagnosed for which the doctor discusses recommended treatment plans or way forward with you.

Author's Bio: 

Paul Richard, having keen interest to learn and write about Diseases and Treatments.

Medical Center: GI Endoscopy Practice
Website: Giendoscopypractice.com
Topic: Liver Biopsy
Category: Gastroenterology Diseases
Phone Number: 973.248.1550
Address: 44 Route 23 North, Suite 7 Riverdale
Zip Code: NJ 07457