Image Guided Biopsy

Biopsy is a procedure in which samples of tissue (core) or fluid (aspiration) are taken through a needle and sometimes under local anaesthetic. This may be performed using ultrasound guidance or CT scan.
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What is an Image Guided Biopsy?

Biopsy is a procedure in which samples of tissue (core) or fluid (aspiration) are taken through a needle and sometimes under local anaesthetic. This may be performed using ultrasound guidance or CT (Computed Tomography) scan.

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.

How do I prepare for an Image Guided Biopsy?

No preparation is required.

ANTICOAGULANTS - 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.

HEART VALVE REPLACEMENT - 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.

Please bring any previous x-rays with you on the day of your examination.

What happens during an Image Guided Biopsy?

The procedure may be undertaken using either ultrasound or CT to localise the biopsy site.

Our Radiologist will discuss the procedure and associated risks with you.

An area to be biopsied will be checked and an area of skin will be cleaned with an antiseptic.

The radiologist may inject a local anaesthetic to numb the skin, and insert a needle to obtain some tissue. Several samples of tissue may be required.

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.

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 you may be required to have an x-ray immediately after the biopsy. You may then be observed in our clinic for up to 4 hours.

How long does an Image Guided Biopsy take?

The whole procedure will take between 30 and 60 minutes to complete.

Are there any after effects of an Image Guided Biopsy?

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.

This information is credited to Inside Radiology, Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiology (RANZCR). insideradiology.com.au June 2014

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