A biopsy of the liver is a medical procedure in which a small amount of liver tissue is surgically removed so it can be tested in a laboratory.
Liver biopsies are usually done to detect the presence of abnormal cells in the liver, such as cancer cells. Your doctor may order this test if blood or imaging tests indicate there are problems with your liver.
Types of Liver Biopsy:
There are three types of liver biopsies. They are:
It is the most common type of liver biopsy. To begin this procedure, doctor will locate the liver by tapping on the abdomen or using ultrasound images. In certain situations, ultrasound might be used during the biopsy to guide the needle into your liver. The patient will lie on his/her back and positioning of right hand above the head on the table. Then, the doctor will apply a numbing medication to the area where the needle will be inserted. The doctor then makes a small incision near the bottom of the rib cage on the right side and inserts the biopsy needle. The biopsy itself takes just a few seconds. As the needle passes quickly in and out of the liver, the patient will be asked to hold the breath.
In this type of biopsy, the patient will be asked to lie on back on an X-ray table. Then the doctor applies a numbing medication to one side of your neck, makes a small incision and inserts a flexible plastic tube into the jugular vein. The tube is threaded down the jugular vein and into the large vein in your liver (hepatic vein). Your doctor then injects a contrast dye into the tube and makes a series of X-ray images. The dye shows up on the images, allowing the doctor to see the hepatic vein. A biopsy needle is then threaded through the tube, and one or more liver samples are removed. The catheter is carefully removed, and the incision on your neck is covered with a bandage.
Biopsy of the abdominal organs performed with instruments introduced through a laparoscope for the removal of tissue.
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