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
medical test information form(What is a PDF document?).
Before you have a lung biopsy, tell
your doctor if you:
- Are taking any medicines.
allergic to any medicines, including
- Have had bleeding problems or
take blood thinners, such as aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), or warfarin (Coumadin).
- Are or might be pregnant.
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.
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
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 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.
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.