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Discharge Instructions for Liver Biopsy

You had a procedure called liver biopsy. A doctor used a special needle to remove a small piece of tissue from your liver. Then it was examined for signs of damage or disease. A liver biopsy is ordered after other tests have shown that your liver is not working properly. You may also have a liver biopsy when liver disease is suspected, to determine whether there is too much iron in the liver, or to rule out cancer.

Home Care

  • Don’t drive for 48 hours after the procedure.

  • Remove the bandage covering the biopsy site 48 hours after the procedure.

  • Rest for 4 hours (2 hours on your right side and 2 hours on your back) and take it easy.

  • Don’t shower for 24 hours after the biopsy. If you wish, you may wash yourself with a sponge or washcloth. When you are able to shower, don’t scrub the site. Gently wash the area and pat it dry.

  • Don’t lift anything heavier than 10 pounds for 3–4 days after the procedure.

  • Ask your doctor when you can return to work.

Follow-Up

Make a follow-up appointment as directed by our staff.

 

When to Call Your Doctor

Call your doctor immediately if you have any of the following:

  • Bleeding from the biopsy site

  • Dizziness or lightheadedness

  • Sudden or increased shortness of breath

  • Sudden chest pain

  • Fever above 100.4°F (38.0°C)

  • Shaking chills

  • Increasing redness, tenderness, or swelling at the biopsy site

  • Drainage from the biopsy site

  • Opening of the biopsy site

  • Rectal bleeding or bloody stools

  • Increasing pain, with or without activity

Online Medical Reviewer: Nelson, Gail A., MS, APRN, BC
Online Medical Reviewer: newMentor board-certified, academically affiliated clinician
Date Last Reviewed: 3/11/2013
© 2000-2014 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.