Liver Biopsy; Indications, Contraindications, Preparing and Procedure

How to prepare for a liver biopsy?

Similar to other surgical procedures, a liver biopsy requires patient preparation. One of the main problems of this procedure is patient anxiety about what will happen. Thus, doctors will try to counter this problem by carefully explaining the procedure and what to expect. This will be done in an office visit before the liver biopsy procedure, and you will probably receive detailed information about what will happen. Ask any questions and clear your doubts about pain management, complications, or anything that makes you feel concerned.

As a part of your preparation, laboratory tests will also be performed. It is imperative to test your prothrombin time and get a complete blood count. Next, you will be planned for a liver biopsy.

  • One week before, you should discontinue aspirin to prevent bleeding episodes
  • 3 days before the procedure, you should not take any nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to prevent bleeding.
  • Ask your doctor if you need to come with an overnight fast or eat before the procedure. Fasting reduces the likelihood of nausea and vomiting after a liver biopsy. Eating causes contraction of the gallbladder and reduces the risk of accidental puncture in this organ. Thus, the recommendation of an overnight fast depends on the site of puncture and other variables.
  • Ask a reliable person to be with you, take you back home, and stay with you at least one night after the procedure.

Written by Martin Davis