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Lung Biopsy

A needle biopsy of the lung uses imaging guidance to help locate a nodule or abnormality and remove a tissue sample for examination under a microscope. A biopsy may be necessary when imaging tests cannot confirm that a nodule is benign, or a nodule cannot be reached by bronchoscopy or other methods. Needle biopsy is less invasive than surgical biopsy and may not require general anesthesia.

What to Bring

  • Your physician order (your physician may have already sent this to us)
  • Personal ID
  • Insurance Card
  • Medication List

How to Prepare

  • Nothing to eat or drink after midnight
  • Heart and Blood Pressure medications are acceptable to take with small amounts of water.
  • No pain medications 4 hours prior to procedure so consent can be obtained.
  • Notify Radiology Nurse of blood thinners/anti-platelet agents including aspirin.
  • Patient should arrive 2 hours prior to scheduled procedure and will be directed to same day surgery. Nurses will place an IV access and draw any necessary labs as ordered by the physician.
  • Please inform the nurse or technologist if you are pregnant.
  • If you wear an on-body device (insulin pump, insulin regulators, Neulasta, other chemo/insulin devices, etc.), you must inform your technologist.

What to Expect

  • A limited CT scan will be performed to confirm the location of the nodule and the safest approach.
  • Once the location of the nodule is confirmed, the entry site is marked on the skin.
  • The skin around the insertion site will be scrubbed and disinfected, and a clean and sterile drape will be applied.
  • A local anesthetic will be injected to numb the path of the needle.
  • A very small nick is made in the skin at the site where the biopsy needle is to be inserted.
  • Using imaging guidance, the physician will insert the needle through the skin, advance it to the site of the nodule and remove samples of tissue. Several specimens may be needed for complete analysis.
  • After the sampling, the needle will be removed.
  • Once the biopsy is complete, pressure will be applied to stop any bleeding and the opening in the skin is covered with a dressing.

After the Procedure

  • The interventional nurse will give you specific instructions for care after the procedure.
  • A pathologist examines the removed specimen and makes a final diagnosis and sends the results to your ordering provider.