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Liver » Liver Transplant

When You Have a Liver Biopsy Coming up and You Don't Know What to Do

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There is no need to panic when you hear that the doctor has ordered a liver biopsy for you. While there is a chance that the results could indicate a severe condition like scarring or cancer, it could also just be jaundice or acute Hepatitis C infection.


Knowledge about the test might ease your stress levels. Keeping that in mind, we bring you certain facts about how a liver biopsy works and what is it that you should expect from the test.

What Is a Liver Biopsy?

A liver biopsy is an invasive test in general where a needle is used to obtain the liver tissue sample. This sample is tested to determine whatever is going on in the liver.

The test duration is about twenty minutes at max. The doctors will give you a local anaesthetic. It will numb the area where the needlework will happen. It is usually between the two right lower ribs, as the liver is mostly pinned down in that section.

What Good Comes out in the Liver Biopsy Results?

Liver biopsy is a way to determine the severity of a liver disease that has been diagnosed already or to ensure the presence or absence of a condition related to the liver. It is also useful when your doctor wants to see how your body is responding to treatment.

Other objectives of liver biopsy test are as follows:

  • To find the cause of jaundice
  • To confirm the occurrence of cirrhosis, hepatitis, or tumours in the liver
  • To detect the cause behind any abnormal blood test results that indicate some level of disruption in the liver
  • To find out the level of liver inflammation or liver scarring
  • To confirm or deny the presence of inherited liver diseases like hemochromatosis or Wilson’s disease
  • To determine the effect, toxic or otherwise, of any medicinal drug on the liver
  • To check on a transplanted liver
  • To ascertain the cause of a fever that doesn’t respond to treatment and refuses to go down
  • To investigate a tumour like mass as observed on an ultrasound or a CT scan

Is There Pain Involved during or after the Test?

A brief sting is possible when three local anaesthesia enters your skin. Another short-lived sharp pain could be felt when the biopsy needle ruptures your skin.

Afterwards, resting for two to six hours on the right side of your body is suggested. If your blood pressure, temperature, and pulse remain reasonable, you’ll be allowed to leave soon after.

Your doctors will tell you what to avoid, certain medicines or strenuous physical activities for instance.

Are There Any Risks during the Procedure?

Only rarely comes an instant where a liver biopsy test causes another serious ailment. However, the general liver biopsy complications include bleeding, pneumothorax, peritonitis or belly infection, and injury to the kidney, gall bladder, or intestines.

If you pass out after the test, feel dizzy, weak, or face trouble breathing, and if there is a persistent pain in your chest, shoulder, or belly, you must call the emergency service or your hospital.

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ZealthDoc is a medical tourism website providing healthcare services like Liver Transplant, Kidney Transplant, Cardiology, IVF etc.

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