About Your Liver Biopsy
What is a Liver Biopsy?
A liver biopsy is a procedure that enables your
physician to obtain a piece of liver tissue for
to Do in Advance
1. Medications, Vitamins and Supplements
To properly prepare for your procedure, you may
need to make certain changes to your daily medication
- If you take insulin, consult with your physician
about making any necessary changes in you daily
- If you take medications that contain aspirin
or other anti-inflammatory drugs (such as Motrin,
Advil, Indocin, or Feldene), we recommend that
you stop taking them seven days before your
procedure. They may increase your risk of bleeding
after removal of a polyp or a biopsy during
your upper endoscopic ultrasound by interfering
with the normal clotting of your blood.
- IMPORTANT: IF YOU ARE CURRENTLY TAKING COUMADIN
OR HEPARIN, YOU MUST CHECK WITH YOUR PRESCRIBING
PHYSICIAN BEFORE CHANGING OR INTERRUPTING YOUR
- Your routine oral medications can be taken
with a small sip of water the morning of your
2. In addition to changes to your medication,
you'll also need to:
- Bring a list of all your medications (prescription
medications, over-the-counter medications and
eye drops) with you on the day of your procedure.
You may bring the medication bottles themselves.
- Be prepared to list and describe your ALLERGIES
and REACTIONS to any medications.
3. Because you may receive a relaxing medication
during your procedure, you must arrange to have
a responsible adult pick you up and/or accompany
you home if you taking public transportation.
University of Pennsylvania Health System policy
requires that you make these arrangements, or
your procedure will not be performed. You
will need to spend several hours at the hospital
to allow time for your preparation, your examination
and your recovery. You may not operate an automobile
or other mechanical equipment until the day following
the Day Before Your Procedure
It is important that you do not eat or drink
anything after midnight on the day before your
procedure. The exception is medication taken with
a small sip of water.
the Day of Your Procedure
- On the day of your liver biopsy, please come
directly to the requested location at your scheduled
arrival time and check in with the receptionist.
Plan to spend several hours at the unit to allow
time for your preparation, your procedure, and
- Before the procedure, a nurse will greet
you and assist you with changing into a hospital
gown. An IV may be placed in your arm. After
being positioned on your back, the biopsy area
will be disinfected and a local anesthetic will
be administered by the physician to numb the
area. The biopsy needle will be passed through
your right side about one inch into the surface
of the liver. A Band-Aid is then applied to
the site. This takes approximately 15 minutes
- Some patients experience pain at the biopsy
site which may require pain medication.
- After the liver biopsy, you will be taken
to the recovery area where your vital signs
will be monitored frequently.
- You will be turned on your right side from
one to two hours after the liver biopsy and
will need to remain in bed an additional two
to four hours after that. Most patients go home
after four to six hours of observation.
- You will receive discharge instructions on
the day of the test. Biopsy results will take
7-10 days to process. The physician will discuss
biopsy results and treatment in the office.
If you would like to speak to a nurse regarding
your procedure or preparation, or if you need
to reschedule your procedure, please call the
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
Procedure questions: 215-662-2122
To reschedule: 215-349-8222
Penn Presbyterian Medical Center
All questions: 215-662-8900
Please be aware that these instructions apply
to patients scheduled for procedures at the Hospital
of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Presbyterian
Medical Center. However, your doctor may give
you different instructions or procedures. If you
have any questions about your procedure, please
contact your physician at the Digestive &
Digestive System Illustration
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