liver biopsy questions

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Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 44
   Posted 4/5/2008 7:23 PM (GMT -7)   
do you have to fast before having it?  (I have blood sugar issues)
What happens afterwards (if you have to lay on your side for 6 hours) if you have to use the bathroom?  will they let you get up and go?
THese probably seem silly... but I would like to know.

Elite Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 12014
   Posted 4/5/2008 9:44 PM (GMT -7)   
True that the biopsy itself takes only about 30 seconds or less, but you do have to lie on your side and put pressure on the liver area for some hours. It might not be as long as 6 hours these days. When I had the rt. lobe of my liver removed last May, I also had to lie on my side for hours with a rolled up towel for pressure.

I would ask the doctor who is going to perform your biopsy all the questions you have, prior to the procedure itself. Every doctor is different. Some will allow a sedative of some sort while others (like the one I had) won't.  And yes, you do have to fast prior to the biopsy.  Again, voice your concerns to your physician.


Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 469
   Posted 4/6/2008 5:16 AM (GMT -7)   

I had my most recent biopsy done in January and it quick and painless. They did give me a sedative to relax me. I could not eat or drink after midnight the night before. I sleep for the first hour afterwards but was allowed drinks and food. They did allow me to get up to go to the bathroom, although that was several hours afterwards. Being sore for a couple of days following the procedure was the only small inconvience I had. Hope this helps. Let us know how it goes. Good Luck.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 502
   Posted 4/6/2008 7:43 AM (GMT -7)   
itsme, hi and welcome to Healing Well. Your question is a very good one and Connie and Lucy have answered your question with first hand experience. I would like to add that you may be able to have the Dr schedule your biopsy as the first case which is usually around 7:30 am. You can't take your insulin that morning if you are indeed on insulin. If you are on oral medication for it they will tell you not to take that either. Most often the Dr will tell you what meds you can and can not take but by all means ask. The proceedure is completed very quickly and should not be painful. Please ask the Dr if they will give you VERSED. It is an IV medication that is used regularly before proceedures like biopsies. You will feel really sleepy as soon as the medicine is given. The best benefit is that it is an amnesiac so you won't remember anything about the biopsy. You are able to talk to them if they ask you questions but you won't remember a thing. Unlike other sedatives there is hardly any hangover at all. You will feel tired for a few hours but thats all. I highly recommend it.

“Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference."


Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 505
   Posted 4/6/2008 3:33 PM (GMT -7)   
For me at Denver University Hospital all liver biopsies were done on a certain day in the PM. I was given a locker and left my belongings there and changed to a hospital gown.There were maybe 15 of us on hospital beds separated by pull sheets. When it was "my turn" 3 people entered my space;, my heptologist, a nurse, and an ultrasoud person with machine. When my heptologist determined where to go in, he asked if I was ready, I said yes, the nurse put some Verced in my IV.
It took 30 seconds total. I heard 2 pops & it was over - he took 2 samples. I even asked if I could see the sample. The Verced was stopped as soon as the pops were over and I recovered in minutes with no "hangover" or grogginess. I ate a sandwich and was allowed to go home. Total time - 2 hours.
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