A liver biopsy is a procedure done to remove a sample of liver tissue for examination under a microscope.
This procedure is used to test for liver diseases such as cirrhosis, hepatitis, and tumors. It is also used to check the progress of treatment in diseases such as chronic hepatitis.
Your child will be given medicine called anesthesia to keep him from feeling pain during the procedure. General anesthesia relaxes the muscles and your child will be asleep.
The provider may make a small cut in your child’s belly and insert a thin needle into your child’s liver. Sometimes a liver biopsy is done by inserting a needle through a neck vein and down into the liver. A sample of liver tissue is removed and examined under a microscope in a lab.
Usually the procedure is done with a CT or ultrasound scan to help guide the needle. It might also be done during a surgical procedure while your child is asleep.
After the biopsy, your child may need to lie on his right side for several hours and then on his back for a while longer to prevent or decrease bleeding. Your child’s blood pressure, pulse, and breathing are monitored to watch for complications.
Follow your healthcare provider's instructions. Ask your healthcare provider:
Make sure you know when your child should come back for a checkup. Keep all appointments for provider visits or tests.
Every procedure or treatment has risks. Some possible risks of this procedure include:
Ask your healthcare provider how these risks apply to your child. Be sure to discuss any other questions or concerns that you may have.