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Lung Disease & Respiratory Health Center

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Lung Biopsy

How It Is Done continued...

After the tissue sample is collected, your doctor will insert a drainage tube (chest tube camera.gif) 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.

Recovery from a video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS) takes less time than from an open biopsy surgery.

A chest X-ray is usually taken after a lung biopsy to look for any problems related to the biopsy.

Video-assisted 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

Bronchoscopic biopsy

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.

You may have a mild fever shortly after the biopsy, which usually goes away within 24 hours. If it does not, call your doctor.

Needle biopsy

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 biopsy.

Open biopsy

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 09, 2014
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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