How It Is Done continued...
An incision is made between the ribs over the area of lung where the
tissue sample is to be collected. A scope called a thoracoscope may be passed
through this incision to view the surface of the lung and to remove a sample of
lung tissue. A larger incision will be made if an open biopsy is needed to
remove a tissue sample.
After the tissue sample is collected,
your doctor will insert a drainage tube (chest tube ) into the area and close the
incision with stitches. One end of the tube will be in the space next to your
lung and the other end will be sticking out of your chest and connected to a
collection container. The chest tube helps re-expand your lung. The chest tubes
will be removed when the drainage from your chest has stopped and no air is
leaking from your chest incision, usually in a few days. Your stitches will be
removed in 7 to 14 days.
The entire biopsy usually takes about an
hour. After the lung biopsy is done, you will be taken to the recovery room for
about an hour. You will then be taken to your hospital room.
A chest X-ray is usually taken after a lung biopsy to
look for any problems related to the biopsy.
thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) may not be available in your area. You may need to
travel to a regional medical center for this test.
How It Feels
The local anesthetic used in
your mouth or nose generally tastes bitter and may make you choke. Your mouth
may feel very dry for several hours after the biopsy. You may also have a sore
throat and some hoarseness for a few hours. Sucking on throat lozenges or
gargling with warm salt water may help your sore throat.
The anesthesia may make it hard to swallow. You may need to avoid eating or drinking for at least an hour after the procedure.
have a mild fever shortly after the biopsy, which usually goes away within 24
hours. If it does not, call your doctor.
When you are given the shot to numb
your skin at the needle biopsy site, you will feel a sharp stinging or burning
sensation that lasts a few seconds. When the needle is inserted into the chest,
you will again feel a sharp pain for a few seconds. The radiologist may ask you
to hold your breath for a few seconds at different times during the
The sedative will make you feel sleepy
and relaxed. You will be asleep during the biopsy because of the general
After the biopsy, you may feel tired for 1 or 2 days
or have general muscle aches. You may also have a mild sore throat from the
tube that was placed in your throat to help you breathe. Sucking on throat
lozenges or gargling with warm salt water may help your sore throat.
You may feel some discomfort at the biopsy site when you take a deep
breath. The incision may itch as it is healing. Your doctor will give you pain
A bandage will be placed over the biopsy site. You
may be advised to keep the biopsy site covered and dry for 48 hours. You may
have a small amount of bleeding from the biopsy site. Ask your doctor how much
bleeding to expect.