biopsy removes a small piece of lung tissue which can
be looked at under a microscope. The biopsy can be done in 4 ways. The method
used depends on where the sample will be taken from and your overall health.
- Bronchoscopic biopsy. This type of biopsy uses a
lighted instrument (bronchoscope) inserted through the mouth or nose and into
the airway to remove a lung tissue sample. This method may be used if an
infectious disease is suspected, if the abnormal lung tissue is located next to
the breathing tubes (bronchi), or before trying more invasive methods, such as
an open lung biopsy.
- Needle biopsy. A needle biopsy uses a long needle
inserted through the chest wall to remove a sample of lung tissue. This method
is used if the abnormal lung tissue is located close to the chest wall. A
computed tomography (CT) scan, an
fluoroscopy are usually used to guide the needle to
the abnormal tissue.
- Open biopsy. An open biopsy uses surgery to make a
cut (incision) between the ribs and remove a sample of lung tissue. An open
biopsy is usually done when the other methods of lung biopsy have not been
successful, cannot be used, or when a larger piece of lung tissue is needed for
- Video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS). A VATS
uses a scope (called a thoracoscope) passed through a small incision in the chest
to remove a sample of lung tissue.
Why It Is Done
A lung biopsy is done to:
- Diagnose certain lung conditions, such as
pulmonary fibrosis. In rare cases, a lung biopsy may
be done for severe
pneumonia, especially if the diagnosis is not
- Diagnose suspected
- Evaluate any abnormalities
seen on other tests, such as a chest
X-ray or a CT scan. A lung biopsy is usually done when
other tests cannot identify the cause of lung problems.
How To Prepare
You will be asked to sign a consent
form before a lung biopsy. Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have
regarding the need for the test, its risks, how it will be done, or what the
results will mean. To help you understand the importance of the biopsy, fill
medical test information form(What is a PDF document?).
Before you have a lung biopsy, tell
your doctor if you:
Your doctor may order certain blood tests, such as a
complete blood count (CBC) and clotting factors,
before your lung biopsy.
doctor will tell you how soon before the biopsy to stop eating and drinking. Follow the instructions exactly
about when to stop eating and drinking, or your surgery may be canceled. If
your doctor has instructed you to take your medicines on the day of surgery,
please do so using only a sip of water.
Arrange to have someone drive you home after the
procedure if you do not need to stay in the hospital.