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What do you need to know about lung biopsy?

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If your doctor spots something out of the ordinary on your chest X-ray or CT scan, he may ask you to get a lung biopsy. In this procedure, a doctor removes a small sample of cells from your lung and checks it under a microscope for signs of disease.

You may also get a lung biopsy to help figure out why there's fluid in your lungs or to diagnose cancer. Whatever the reason, you may have lots of questions about how it's done and how to get ready. A lot depends on which type of lung biopsy your doctor recommends.

From: What to Expect From a Lung Biopsy WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

American Cancer Society: "Tests for Non-Small Lung Cancer."

American Society of Clinical Oncology: "Lung Cancer: Non-Small Cell: Diagnosis."

Blewitt, C.J. . 2001. The Annals of Thoracic Surgery

Canadian Cancer Society: "Thoracoscopy."

Columbia University Department of Surgery: "Bronchoscopy/Lung Biopsy."

Johns Hopkins Medicine: "Lung Biopsy," "Pleural Biopsy."

Lungevity Foundation: "Biopsies."

Medpage Today: "Lung Biopsy Risks Not Uncommon."

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center: "Biopsy," "Bronchoscopy."

Medscape: "Transthoracic Needle Biopsy."

National Institutes of Health: "Lung Needle Biopsy."

National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: "Bronchoscopy."

UpToDate: "Air Embolism."

University of Rochester Medical Center: "Lung Biopsy."

University of Southern California: "A Patient's Guide to Lung Surgery."

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on October 16, 2017

SOURCES:

American Cancer Society: "Tests for Non-Small Lung Cancer."

American Society of Clinical Oncology: "Lung Cancer: Non-Small Cell: Diagnosis."

Blewitt, C.J. . 2001. The Annals of Thoracic Surgery

Canadian Cancer Society: "Thoracoscopy."

Columbia University Department of Surgery: "Bronchoscopy/Lung Biopsy."

Johns Hopkins Medicine: "Lung Biopsy," "Pleural Biopsy."

Lungevity Foundation: "Biopsies."

Medpage Today: "Lung Biopsy Risks Not Uncommon."

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center: "Biopsy," "Bronchoscopy."

Medscape: "Transthoracic Needle Biopsy."

National Institutes of Health: "Lung Needle Biopsy."

National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: "Bronchoscopy."

UpToDate: "Air Embolism."

University of Rochester Medical Center: "Lung Biopsy."

University of Southern California: "A Patient's Guide to Lung Surgery."

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on October 16, 2017

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When might someone get a lung needle biopsy (transthoracic biopsy)?

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