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Lung Biopsy

How To Prepare

You will be asked to sign a consent form that says you understand the risks of the test and agree to have it done.

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 out the 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.

Your 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.

How It Is Done

A needle or bronchoscope biopsy can be done without staying in the hospital. An open biopsy requires a hospital stay for at least a few days.

You may be asked to remove dentures, eyeglasses or contact lenses, hearing aids, a wig, makeup, and jewelry before the biopsy. You will empty your bladder before the biopsy. You will need to take off all or most of your clothes (you may be allowed to keep on your underwear if it does not interfere with the biopsy). You will be given a cloth or paper covering to use during the biopsy.

Bronchoscopic biopsy

A bronchoscopic biopsy is done by a doctor who specializes in lung problems (pulmonologist). It is usually done using a thin, flexible bronchoscope. In rare cases, a biopsy may be done using a rigid bronchoscope.

Bronchoscopy usually takes between 30 and 60 minutes. You will be in the recovery room 1 to 2 hours. A chest X-ray is usually taken after a lung biopsy to look for any problems related to the biopsy.

Needle biopsy

A needle biopsy is done by a doctor who specializes in X-ray tests (radiologist) or a pulmonologist. Your doctor will use a CT scan, ultrasound, or fluoroscopy to guide the biopsy needle. The place where your doctor inserts the needle is cleaned first with an antiseptic solution and draped with sterile towels. Your doctor will give you a local anesthetic to keep you from feeling any pain when the needle is inserted into your chest.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 01, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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