Liver Biopsy

What other methods of liver biopsy are available?

Two other methods of liver biopsy may also be available: laparoscopic and transvenous.

During a laparoscopic biopsy, a laparoscope (a thin lighted tube with a camera attached) is inserted through an incision in the abdomen. The laparoscope sends images of the liver to a monitor that the physician watches while using instruments to remove tissue samples from one or more parts of the liver. This type of biopsy may be used when tissue samples are needed from specific parts of the liver.

A transvenous biopsy may be done when patients have blood-clotting problems or fluid in the abdomen. The physician inserts a tube called a catheter into a vein in the neck and guides it to the liver. A biopsy needle is placed into the catheter and then into the liver to obtain a sample.

Warning About Liver Biopsy

If you have a fever; difficulty breathing; chills; dizziness; or tenderness or severe pain at the site of a liver biopsy or in the chest, shoulder, or abdomen within 72 hours after the procedure, please call your doctor or go to the nearest emergency room.

Medically reviewed by Martin E Zipser, MD; American board of Surgery


National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse.

Reviewed by Venkat Mohan, MD on March 01, 2010

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