What is a Image Guided Biopsy?
Biopsy is a procedure in which samples of tissue (core) or fluid (aspiration) are taken through a thin needle using ultrasound or CT scan for guidance. 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.
What are the benefits of a Image Guided Biopsy?
Biopsies enable tissue samples to be collected in a relatively simple and straight forward manner, without having the patient undergo and surgical procedures.
How do I prepare for a Image Guided Biopsy?
Generally, no preparation is required.
However, 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.
If you have a heart valve replacement, it may be indicated to take an antibiotic cover. Please discuss this with your doctor and inform us when you make your appointment.
Who does the Procedure?
The Image Guided Biopsy is performed by the radiologist and will use either ultrasound, or CT scanner to guide the needle into the joint. The radiologist will be accompanied by a radiographer, or sonographer, depending on the equipment used.
What happens during a Biopsy and how long will it take?
The Radiologist will discuss the procedure, and associated risks with you. The procedure may be undertaken using either ultrasound or CT to localise the site that requires the biopsy. The area of skin where the biopsy will occur will be cleaned with an antiseptic, and the radiologist will inject a local anaesthetic to numb the skin.
A needle is then inserted to obtain some tissue samples. The sample(s) will be sent to Pathology for study and the Pathologist will send a report to your referring doctor. This usually takes 2 to 4 days. Depending on the area biopsied (lung, as an example) you may be required to have an x-ray immediately after the biopsy.
Overall an imaging guided biopsy generally takes between 15 and 30 minutes. You may then be observed in our clinic for a period to ensure you are not experiencing any adverse effects. You will be given clear instruction, but you always need to check with staff prior to departing the department.
After Care Procedure
Following the biopsy, you will be asked to press firmly on the area for 10 minutes to stop any bleeding. There may be some bruising following the biopsy. This may be quite prominent, but will always disappear. 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 1 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 notice excessive bruising, swelling, bleeding, redness or heat at the biopsy site we urge you to contact the radiologist or your referring doctor.