A lungbiopsy removes a small piece of lung tissue which can
be looked at under a microscope. The biopsy can be done in four 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). VATS
uses a scope (called a thoracoscope) passed through a small incision in the chest
to remove a sample of lung tissue.