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.
A lung biopsy is generally a safe procedure.
Any risk depends on if you have a lung disease and how severe it is. If you
already have severe breathing problems, your breathing may be worse for a short
time after the biopsy.
Bronchoscopic and needle biopsies are
usually safer than open or VATS biopsies, but the VATS and open biopsies are
more likely to allow a good sample of lung to be removed. A good sample helps
determine what the lung problem is and what treatment choices are. Bronchoscope
or needle biopsies do not need general anesthesia, cause fewer problems, and
you do not need to stay overnight in the hospital. Your doctor will discuss any
risks with you.
- Lung biopsy may increase your chance of
developing a collapsed lung (pneumothorax) during the biopsy. Your
doctor may need to place a tube in your chest to keep your lung inflated while
the biopsy site heals.
- Severe bleeding (hemorrhage) may
- An infection such as pneumonia may occur, but usually such
infections can be treated with
- Spasms of the bronchial tubes
can occur, which can cause breathing difficulties right after the
- Irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias) can
- People with severe lung disease have a very small chance of
dying from the biopsy. But this is rare. If you receive general anesthesia,
there is an extremely small chance of death from complications linked to
After the biopsy
After a lung biopsy, call your
doctor immediately if you have:
- Severe chest
- Excessive bleeding through the
- Coughed up more than a tablespoon of blood.