Liver Biopsy
The liver biopsy is usually performed on an outpatient basis. A mild sedative may be given to the patient prior to the procedure. Sometimes an ultrasound or echo machine is used to identify the best location to make the biopsy.  The patient lies quietly on their back or slightly to the left side. The area where the biopsy will be done is carefully cleaned. Then a local anesthetic agent is used to numb the skin and tissue below. A specially designed thin needle is inserted through the skin. At this point, the physician will tell the patient how to breathe. The needle is advanced into and out of the liver. This takes only 1 or 2 seconds. A slender core of tissue is removed with the needle and is then processed through the laboratory. The entire procedure from start to finish lasts only 15 to 20 minutes.
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