Liver Biopsy

Liver Biopsy

Liver disease is not uncommon. The Centers for Disease Control say that at least 30 million people, or one person in every 10, in the United States suffers from some form of liver disease. A liver biopsy is one of the best ways for your Brooklyn doctor to learn more about the health of your liver. The procedure can provide information about the function of your liver as well as determine if the tissues themselves are healthy.

What Is a Liver Biopsy?

A liver biopsy procedure involves the removal of a small portion of the liver tissue. This tissue is then examined to determine the health and condition of it. Your Brooklyn doctor may recommend a biopsy like this if other tests, including imaging and blood tests, show signs of abnormalities. The most common form of biopsy is the percutaneous biopsy. This method uses a fine, smaller needle that is placed through the abdomen into the liver. It removes the tissue in a minimally invasive manner. Other methods exist as well including a laparoscopic procedure, which uses small incisions and a transjugular procedure that uses a needle inserted into the vein on the neck.

Why Is a Liver Biopsy Necessary?

A liver biopsy is necessary when there is any indication of malfunctioning or illness present within it. This may be due to a number of concerns such as:

  • An abnormality was discovered in imaging
  • A liver problem exists but is otherwise undiagnosed
  • Liver disease is present; allowing for severity to be determined
  • To develop a treatment plan for those suffering from a liver condition
  • Monitor function and success after a liver transplant
  • Determine the cause of liver disease
  • Abnormal test results from blood work
  • A mass of some type is found on or in the liver
  • Unexplained fevers

Your doctor in Brooklyn can use the results from this test to provide a clear picture of what may be happening within the liver. This test can lead to the diagnosis of conditions such as:

  • Fatty liver disease
  • Chronic hepatitis B or C
  • Wilson’s disease
  • Primary biliary cirrhosis
  • Alcoholic liver disease
  • Autoimmune hepatitis
  • Hemochromatosis
  • Primary sclerosing cholangitis

What Does a Liver Biopsy Involve?

The procedure used can differ depending on the goal of a liver biopsy. The most common form of biopsy is usually conducted in a Brooklyn doctor’s office, hospital, or outpatient center. You’ll arrive early and have an IV placed for sedation. During the procedure, the doctor will locate the liver, sometimes with the aid of an ultrasound. Then, a fine needle is inserted into the liver through an incision made near the base of your rib cage. If you are awake during the procedure, you’ll be asked to hold your breath.

Other types of procedures are available as well. When you meet with your Brooklyn liver biopsy doctor after the procedure, he or she will inform you of any information immediately available. However, tests can take some time and results may not be immediately available. This procedure is a diagnostic tool that’s minimally invasive yet highly effective.