Your doctor or a nurse will provide you with instructions to prepare for your liver biopsy, including having blood drawn. You will also receive instructions to stop using these medications a week before your biopsy:
- Alka-Seltzer (an antacid)
- Bufferin (aspirin plus antacid)
- Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Midol, Nuprin)
- Iron pills
- Naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn)
Your doctor or a nurse will provide instructions to follow in the hours leading up to your biopsy, including the following:
- Don’t eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your test.
- On the morning of your test, you can take routine medications your doctor has approved with a sip of water.
- Don’t take any medications for diabetes.
You’ll feel more prepared for your biopsy if you know what will happen. Be sure to bring along an adult who can drive you home or you won’t be able to have the procedure. Then, expect to follow these steps before, during and after your biopsy:
- Before the procedure, you will change into a hospital gown.
- Your doctor or a nurse will explain your procedure, answers questions and ask you to sign a consent form.
- You will be taken to a procedure room and given a sedative.
- You will then be positioned on your back with your right arm under your head.
- Your biopsy team will explain how to breathe during the procedure.
- Your abdomen will be marked for the biopsy and cleaned with a medication to reduce the chance of infection.
- The area will be numbed with an injection of local anesthetic, which feels like a bee sting.
- Your doctor will insert a needle into your abdomen, which may feel like a sharp pain to your right side.
The entire procedure typically takes about 15 minutes. You will then remain in a recovery area for several hours to make sure you don’t have any bleeding. You can go home when your vital signs are stable and you can drink liquids. However, you shouldn’t lift anything heavier than a phone book for one week.