مستشفى الدكتور سليمان الحبيب - العلياطريق الملك فهد ، العليا ، الرياض 11564 ، المملكة العربية السعودية, الرياض
A liver biopsy is a procedure that is performed to remove a portion of the liver, which will be examined under a microscope to check for signs of damage or disease. There are three main types of biopsy: laparoscopic, percutaneous, and transvenous.
The liver is a vital organ that has several basic functions, such as:
A liver biopsy is performed when it is difficult to diagnose a possible liver problem with blood tests or by using ultrasound or x-rays.
A biopsy is often performed to assess the degree of liver damage, a process known as staging. Staging helps guide treatment, and the biopsy helps to diagnose or detect:
The specialist should be fully informed about any medication you are taking, and you may even be asked to stop taking any medication that affects blood clotting or interacts with sedatives.
Some medications that may not be permitted both before or after a liver biopsy are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, anticoagulants, antidepressants, antibiotics, dietary supplements and high blood pressure, diabetes and asthma medications.
You must not eat or drink for at least eight hours before the biopsy, and should plan how you will get home, since you must not drive for at least twelve hours after the procedure. Before the procedure, you will need to have a full blood test to check, among other things, your ability to clot blood.
The moment the needle is inserted to sedate you, you will feel a brief, sharp pain. You might feel a deep pain when the biopsy needle is inserted, which sometimes manifests itself in the shoulder.
Sedation helps you to remain calm during the process. Sedation is different to anaesthesia; you are unconscious under anaesthetic, but with sedation you can communicate with the medical team, though you generally won’t remember the procedure afterwards.
There are two outcomes from a liver biopsy: either the results are completely normal, which means that the liver tissue is normal, or the liver biopsy reveals the presence of a liver disease, such as hepatitis or cirrhosis, or the presence of cancer cells or infections such as tuberculosis.
Some of the problems that can be detected through a liver biopsy are:
The use and advancement of technology has led to a series of changes in general medicine and in the liver biopsy procedure. Major progress has been made in imaging techniques, which are sometimes sufficient to determine the state of the liver.
Another advancement is FibroScan, which measures the speed at which elastic waves are propagated through the liver; this helps to assess the health of the liver.