Liver Biopsy – Basics And More
August 12, 2019
A liver biopsy is a procedure that involves taking a small sample of tissue from your liver. The procedure is most commonly used to diagnose and monitor certain conditions, including liver cancer, cirrhosis, metabolic disorders or hepatitis.
During this procedure, the area under the ribs is cleaned and local anaesthetic is then injected into the skin and tissues just over a part of the liver (usually between two lower ribs on the right-hand side). A special hollow needle is then pushed through the skin into the liver. Patients are requested to hold their breath for 5-10 seconds when the needle is quickly inserted, as this helps the liver move slightly and brings out a small sample of liver tissue along with the needle.
Doctors at Rela Hospital, one of the most sought-after liver biopsy centres in Chennai, may use a computerised tomography (CT) scan for guidance during the biopsy. The scan locates the exact site of the liver so the biopsy needle is inserted at exactly the right place. The scan is painless.
In case of some patients whose liver’s ability to produce substances that help blood clot has been compromised, the above-mentioned method does not work, as there is high risk of bleeding after the biopsy. In such cases, doctors use a different procedure, which usually involves inserting a very thin, hollow tube (a catheter) into a vein in your neck or groin. The skin will be made numb by a local anaesthetic before the procedure. The catheter is then gently guided to the veins inside your liver. A small needle on the tip of the catheter makes a tiny hole in the wall of the vein. The needle collects a sample of liver tissue which is then retained in the catheter as it is taken out of your body.
Alternatively, doctors can also perform liver biopsy via an endoscopic ultrasound scan using an endoscope with an ultrasound probe attached to create detailed pictures of internal organs and structures. This is a new technique which is not available in all hospitals.
Complications are very uncommon in all the above-mentioned procedures. Usually, minor pain and discomfort is alleviated with painkillers.
Patients are requested to seek medical advice if:
- There is bleeding from the biopsy site or the site looks inflamed.
- Patient experiences fever.
- The biopsy site is still painful three days later or if painkillers do not help.
WHY Rela Hospital?
Although liver biopsy is not a complicated procedure, at Rela Hospital, which has been deemed as one of the top liver hospitals in India, we take extra care to make sure that your liver biopsy procedure is done efficiently and effectively according to your comfort level. If you are looking for liver biopsy for liver transplantation in India, Rela Hospital is your destination. We are the best hospital for liver transplantation in Chennai and in India.